Maybe you already talk to your computer but now there’s even more reason to – Google has just released the latest version of Chrome, which includes “Okay Google” triggered voice searches that work automatically, without requiring any clicks or other input prompting first. Users will need to enable it once and provide Chrome permission to user their computer’s mic if they haven’t already, but after that, it’s as simple as opening a new tab, navigating to Google.com and speaking the magic words followed by your search request.
The feature works as advertised, and doesn’t fumble even with my mumble. I’m still somewhat old-school in terms of my comfort level with talking at and to electronics and computerized devices, so I’ll probably mostly be sticking to the Old Ways of kludging about on rows of squares printed with alphabetic symbols, but I can still see this being quite useful on occasion.
As an aside, the “Okay Google” verbiage already somehow seems natural, despite the fact that I literally never use that same sentence construction to address real humans or in general conversation, at least as a way to kick-off a conversation. “Okay shopkeep, ring up these groceries.” “Okay girlfriend, meet me tonight at 7.” It doesn’t work, and yet for some reason with Google’s voice-powered features it still does seem to count as ‘natural speech.’ Go figure.