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