“OK Google” — Hands-Free, Conversational Search Coming From Google

OK Google

Google has allowed you to speak your search to it on the desktop and mobile devices for some time, but now it’s going to get smarter — talking back to you and continuing the conversation you started.

Google shared details at its Google I/O 2013 developer event today and also in a blog post that’s gone up.

The idea is that your devices —  smartphone or desktop — will apparently be constantly listening for the “OK Google” command. If you say that, then it knows you want to do a search.

That command is already used as part of Google Glass in a similar way (“OK Glass”) — and only works when you actually touch the device. So, it’ll be interesting to see how desktop computers and mobile devices are supposed to be voice activated. But since both are often constantly being touched, it’s likely the microphone will just stay on and listening until there’s a lapse in activity.

Speak your search, and you’ll get back answers. Again, that’s something you can do now. But what’s different is how Google says you’ll be able to continue the “conversation” to keep searching. From its post:

Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer.

Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

See, it’ll understand where you are, so “here” is already known without having to say a place name. Of if you just searched for “weather,” then it can guess that you want weather for another city even if you don’t say the word “weather.”

We’ll have more details about the coming change later today, either postscripted here or linked from here to a fresh story, including any specific release date other than “soon.”

Postscript: This is now live. See our story, Google’s Impressive “Conversational Search” Goes Live On Chrome

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features: Analysis | Google: Google Now | Google: Voice Search | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sammie.kiogora Sammie Kiogora

    “OK Google” brings a new perspective to the Google speak app especially on android devices. It will be so helpful for the physically disabled.

  • http://dejanseo.com.au/ Dejan SEO

    Ahhh… my “told you so” moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/af.gma Af Gma

    Great. So now, the masses will let Google listen in continuously to our conversations? Wow.

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