That Was Fast: The Speak-To-Search Extension For Chrome

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing about Chrome 11’s awesome new ability to let you speak to the browser by way of HTML5. In fact, it was just yesterday. But that hasn’t stopped a team from coming up with a Chrome extension to get it to work in search boxes across the web.

Speechify is an extension that Dugley Labs churned out in record speed yesterday. With it, many of the search boxes you visit on the web gain the little microphone icon that when clicked, allows you to speak your search. It works on Google, Bing, YouTube, Hulu — a ton of sites. And it works well.

Saying “TechCrunch” on Google returns results for TechCrunch. Saying “MG Siegler” on Bing returns results for me. Saying “Friday video” on YouTube returns that damn song.

It’s great — but also a little buggy. For example, the microphone shows up on Quora, but it doesn’t actually work (I think their auto drop-down may be to blame). And the microphone sometimes appears in odd places, like the title box in WordPress — but it still works!

The best implementation has to be Google with Instant turned on, because it allows you to search without hitting the keyboard at all.

Of course, this type of technology is old hat in the mobile space — meaning it’s a couple years old. But it’s still nifty to see on the web without any plug-in needed. I suspect we’ll see a lot more web apps and extensions that take advantage of this. In fact, AreYouWatchingThis has already implemented it on their site,

Currently, the plugin requires Chrome 11 beta (or dev), but the feature should be moving to the stable builds soon as well.