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Google introduces hands-free voice search to PCs

From Mobile to Desktop

Google has transformed the concept of voice search this month, on both PC and mobile devices.

On 5th November 2013, the search engine released an updated version of the Google iOS Search App, jam-packed with an array of improved features, including the new hands-free voice search. Following on from this, Google has now developed and launched the same concept onto desktops.

How it works

Once the Google Chrome browser extension has been installed, PC users are able to make use of the hands-free voice search by simply saying “OK Google”. The search engine reacts to the user’s voice command, after which you are then able to search for the information that you require.

Worthwhile or Worthless?

There has been speculation as to whether the updated version of the voice search can be considered useful. Google has created its own scenario where it could come in handy, The Turkey Dinner Scenario. However, the company has already received some critique – similar to that of when Apple launched Siri – for the limited capabilities that “OK Google” has with regards to speech recognition. As well as this, lengthier search queries struggle to be understood. On the other hand, there has been some praise for the update in relation to the levels of accuracy in understanding shorter queries.

Whether the update has been worthwhile still remains to be seen. Critiques of “OK Google” have suggested that for future updates, the hands-free voice search should be available on all web pages, rather than just Google Chrome.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: “It is interesting to see that Google has adapted search into this form. Perhaps the launch of hands-free voice search could be a hint of more to come from Google Hummingbird in the near future, with an added focus on ‘conversational’ style.”

Written by Rachel Hand

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