Google Enables “OK Google” Hands-Free Voice Search On PCs

OK Google Chrome ExtensionThrough a Chrome browser extension users can now invoke the hotword (or hot phrase) “OK Google” to initiate hands-free searches on the PC. Voice search on Chrome was possible before but you needed to manually select the microphone.

After the browser extension is installed you simply need to say “OK Google,” pause briefly and speak a query. This brings the functionality of Google Glass voice search and hands-free search on smartphones to the PC.

Google voice search Chrome PC

Hotword voice search can only be initiated from the homepage or a Google SERP, when the search bar with a microphone is visible. What would be “totally awesome,” however, is if Google could enable voice search from the address bar so that hands-free voice queries or navigation could take place from any web page.

In some situations hands-free search is a great help — such as in Google’s messy hands Thanksgiving example — in others it’s of limited value. Google’s speech recognition doesn’t always pick up the final words in lengthy queries. And its accuracy is not always perfect. But for several-word queries, short questions and hands-free navigation it’s great.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google | Google: Voice Search | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Srihari Thalla

    Any info regarding Firefox?

  • Sundar Rawat

    Google monopoly… you will have to become chrome users if you don’t like to be, to use this service. :(

  • Sundar Rawat

    I am sure, Firefox team would be working for plugin to use this service… it might take some time. :(

  • Sean Doggendorf

    With this, is there any news on the ability to track text vs. voice searches in Google Analytics?

  • Colin Guidi

    haha, having fun with this today. Would definitely like a way to manually turn it off or lower the ability to pick up nearby sounds, since it picks up conversations from people next to me.

    maybe that’s just a function of the computer microphone sensitivity.

  • James R. Halloran

    Are you able to delete what you say verbally, too, in case it misunderstands you? This happens to me all the time with my smartphone, so I’m just wondering if this is actually better?

  • Dawgs4ever

    It’s a Google product. I’m not sure Monopoly means what you think it means.

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