We truly are living in the future. Google has working self-driving cars, Microsoft is testing software that does automatic instant voice translation, and NASA’s Voyager spacecraft has left our solar system and entered interstellar space. All of these developments were merely science fiction 20 years ago.
And now you can even search the web without ever touching your keyboard. OK, maybe that’s not quite as unbelievable as cars that drive themselves and the other stuff I just mentioned, but it’s still pretty cool and would have been hard to believe 15 years ago.
To search the web using your voice, you’ll need Google Chrome. Once you have Chrome installed, open Chrome’s settings by clicking the 3 horizontal line icon next to the address bar. From there, click Settings.
In the settings menu, scroll down and click ‘Show advanced settings”.
Under the Privacy category check the box next to ‘Enable “Ok Google” to start a voice search’.
After you’ve checked that checkbox and closed out of Chrome’s settings, you should be able to start a new Google voice search simply by saying the words “OK Google” and then asking Google any question or search term you would normally search.
Even cooler, if you have your speakers on Google will attempt to respond with an audio response, not just the standard search results you’re used to.
If you have an Android phone, you may notice this is basically the same as the voice activation features that are built into Android. If you have an iPhone, you may also notice that this is suspiciously similar to Siri, Apple’s voice activated helper program. You’d be right on both counts. This is basically the same technology that makes Siri and other voice activated programs possible. But now it’s on your computer.
While this technology isn’t extremely useful or world changing yet, it’s also still in its infancy. I can’t wait to see what it’ll be able to do in another 20 years.
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