“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. Google shared details at its Google I/O 2013 developer event today and also in a blog post that’s […]

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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


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About the author

Danny Sullivan
Contributor
Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and MarTech, and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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