As lifehacker pointed out, Google’s new voice search has inched us closer to having a Star Trek-style computing reality (something I can certainly get behind ;-)). Unveiled at the Google developer’s conference just last week, the new conversational search has been incorporated into Chrome 27 available today.
Sure, you could do this on the Google mobile app, but now you can do it on your home computer if you have a microphone. What is unique about the search is that it is, apparently (I don’t have a microphone at work so couldn’t give it a go), more conversational than other voice searches. Google gives this example:
If you ask, “Okay Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” you’ll get a spoken answer. A next question could be, “How far is it from here?” and then, “How about Monterey?”
While this doesn’t seem too special at first glance, it’s probably because it seems so natural. Think about it a little more though and you realize the person didn’t have to restate the destination in the second question—and could then follow up with a related, but different third one. Google “knew” what was being asked based on the information given in the previous question(s). Pretty cool. There is one trick though: you must start your search with “Okay Google…”.
To get the new Chrome 27, either update your existing software (select “About Google Chrome” from the menu and it will search for the update) or download it here. Once you have the update, you’ll see a microphone icon in the corner of the search bar.
Here are some tips for using the conversational search.
It’ll be interesting to see if this is the wave of the future, or just a gimmick.