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Chrome Google Input Devices

Google Launches Voice Search Hotword Extension For Chrome 54

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the always-listening dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has launched the Google Voice Search Hotword extension for Chrome, bringing the 'OK Google' feature to the desktop. You can download the new tool, currently in beta, now directly from the Chrome Web Store. Android users with version 4.4 KitKat will recognize the feature: it lets you talk to Google without first clicking or typing. It's completely hands-free, provided you're already on Google.com: just say 'OK Google' and then ask your question." Quick, someone wire Pocketsphinx up to Firefox, or integrate Simon into Krunner.
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Google Launches Voice Search Hotword Extension For Chrome

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  • I wonder if it'll have more PC-centric voice actions? Time to get a mic for my PC.
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @10:09AM (#45537539)

      Just as google reads all your e-mail, not just what you search for, to "help you" get better advertising. they will no doubt listen to everything you say, not just what you search for, in order to improve their service to you. It's all about you.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Yeah, as tin-foil hattish as it is, my first though was "what, and give Google even more data, hell no".

        I don't trust that it won't be listening when it's not supposed to, or that it won't be misusing that data.

        I still use some Google stuff, but I'm increasingly treating them like they're an entity I would rather keep at arms length these days.

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          I agree, and this is also why I tend to unplug my Kinect when I'm not using it (or keep the Xbox powered down).

          Plus there's the whole 'turn it on by remote' thing, like the Feds do to mobsters via Onstar.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            I agree, and this is also why I tend to unplug my Kinect when I'm not using it (or keep the Xbox powered down).

            That's why my Xbox got disconnected from the network. As soon as I started seeing ads and realized MS was using the network connection for their own benefit, it has never seen the network since.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Google's programs also read my email to extract addresses, package delivery information, pictures and present them to me nicely on the side of the email.
        Also, at many email providers the employees can accidentally read your email. At Google they have some kind of rot13 in place so that when the engineers are debugging something on the analyzer or checking file system issues they don't accidentally read somebody's email.
        I am not saying they are perfect but they do realize that they need to be trustworthy and

      • by swillden (191260)

        they will no doubt listen to everything you say, not just what you search for

        I strongly doubt that, and it is really easy to test. Install the extension and monitor your network traffic. I predict that what you'll see is that the hotword recognition is performed locally, and nothing is sent to Google until after you say the hotword and speak your query -- exactly the same way it's done on phones.

        Do you really think Google would dare try to sneak something like that past all the privacy scrutiny focused on them, even assuming they want to?

        (Disclaimer: I work for Google, but don't

    • I hope not. For the most part on my PC, I want the speaker off, and the microphone off. I Don't really want to talk out loud to my computer.

  • When will this work with Firefox (or IE, etc. etc.)?
  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @10:07AM (#45537525)

    "...it lets you talk to Google without first clicking or typing."

    EFF has been sending out stickers to cover cameras on devices. Let's hope they start sending out little cotton balls to plug mics.

    • And, if one browser plugin can listen to the microphone.... well then any of them can. Look for a new wave of spyware, coming your way soon!

      • I seem to recall a lot of people got up in arms when it came out that the new X-Box would always have its camera and microphone turned on... and I would hope people, at this point, don't trust Google any more than they trust Microsoft.

      • Actually, that's not true at all. A while back, François Beaufort noted that the extension had been preemptively whitelisted so that it alone doesn't repeatedly need explicit permission to use the microphone. Usually, any website or extension that wants to use the microphone must ask the user for it at least once, repeatedly if the site doesn't use HTTPS. See here: https://plus.google.com/100132233764003563318/posts/YRq7NrS5waS [google.com]

        (The ilnk is messed up; the actual diff of interest is here: https://src.chr [chromium.org]

    • I am going to design and build an add-on called "mr. sine wave". it listens for your 'ok, give google the sine!' and then connects the mic wire to a +4db level of 60hz sine.

      I often forget the words and so I just hum along, anyway...

  • by goldaryn (834427) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @10:09AM (#45537547) Homepage
    "Google, where has my keyboard gone?"
  • You can also do this with the "google" application for iphone. They added in one of the last updates.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Every day you have to hear the idiots with the cell phones on speaker phone while holding it in front of their face.

    The last thing I need at the damn office is to hear a whole bunch of "Okay Google"

    Fuck that. Quit being so god damn lazy and TYPE it in!

    • Also, it doesn't really work as advertised IMO, I still need to hit the home button to get it to work (for me at least it doesn't work when not on home ), so I may as well tap the microphone too.

  • If anyone at my work dares to use this and start disrupting everyone else, all you need to do is run up to their mic and say " OK Google, Search Images for Donkey Penis, Open First 100 links" After the 3rd time, they might get the hint.
  • #!/bin/sh
    # Brad Conroy's public domain speech processing tool (lite version)
    computer(){
    case $1 in
    open)shift; which $1 && $@ || text2speech "I can't find that program.";;
    disregard)exit;;
    *)text2speech "I can't handle the $@ command yet.";;
    esac
    }

    pocketsphinx_continuous $SOMERANDOMOPTIONS |while read ROW COMMAND ARGS; do
    case "$ROW$COMMAND" in
    [0-9]*:computer)$COMMAND $ARGS;;
  • by slim (1652) <`ten.puntrah' `ta' `nhoj'> on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:05AM (#45538239) Homepage

    ... if I worked from home or had a private office.

    As it is, in an open-plan office, I don't want to disturb my colleagues, or feed them a constant stream of what I'm searching for.

    However, I've only just started using voice on my Nexus 4. I'd simply assumed it wouldn't work well enough, but I gave it a go when I wanted to send a text in a hurry -- and was astonished to find that it *faultlessly* transcribed "I'm on my way. If I'm not there in ten minutes avenge my death", spoken at full speed.

    So since then I've checked out the full range of voice instructions, and plenty of them are useful.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      I've started using it too, as it's a lot quicker than typing, sometimes, even with Swype. It's lot flawless, but it's pretty damn good.

    • Re:I'd use it... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:54AM (#45538797)
      I agree. The voice-to-text is remarkably good: definitely at the point that it has become a tool and not just a toy. (I won't say that it never makes mistakes, but it's accurate enough that you can dictate a text message and only have to make a small number of fixes, making it overall faster in many cases.) The Google Now features also work well (asking relatively free-form questions).

      However, the 'embarrasement factor' still looms large: I don't want to use the functionality where it might disturb other people (e.g. at work), and I'm even self-conscious using it when walking around in public. (Yes, it remains ironic that we feel weird talking into our phones.) I also avoid using when my wife is in a nearby room, because of the "What did you say? Are you talking to me?" factor. And of course, I usually don't want to broadcast my activities for all to hear. As a result, I'm not conditioned to use the feature, and I forget to use it even in cases where it would make sense (e.g. home alone).

      I guess what I'm saying is that the adoption of these technologies might well be more limited by social convention, rather than limitations in the tech itself. I'm not sure if this is an intrinsic aspect of humanity (that on average people don't like talking to technology, despite what sci-fi has long predicted), or whether this is purely generational, and the next batch of users will be completely comfortable speaking commands to their computers/phones/etc. (in which case, the tech will no doubt have to improve; e.g. in order to only respond to the assigned user's voice).
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      As it is, in an open-plan office, I don't want to disturb my colleagues, or feed them a constant stream of what I'm searching for.

      However, I've only just started using voice on my Nexus 4. I'd simply assumed it wouldn't work well enough, but I gave it a go when I wanted to send a text in a hurry -- and was astonished to find that it *faultlessly* transcribed "I'm on my way. If I'm not there in ten minutes avenge my death", spoken at full speed.

      So since then I've checked out the full range of voice instructi

  • You don't like it? Don't install it. Don't install Chrome for that matter. You want all the nice free services and excellent search, but don't feel like paying for it? Go start your own search engine. Everyone seems to expect free services but everyone balks when a company tries to make a profit from it. Newsflash, THEY ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS! Google may or may not be evil. But they certainly aren't stupid.
  • It's actually pretty neat. If your hands aren't free at the time, just talk to your computer. Very cool!
  • How is it hands free if I have to launch Chrome and turn on the voice recognition bits?

    Same goes for my Android phone. I have to launch Google Now by holding the Menu "button" before it'll listen to me. It doesn't work if the phone is:

    1: Asleep and locked
    2: Asleep and unlocked
    3: Awake with another program in the foreground
    4: Awake and at a home screen page
    5: Awake and at the default home screen page
    6: Awake and at the default home screen page with the Google search widget loaded

    You HAVE hold the Men

    • by Andrio (2580551)

      For most android phones, yes you do have to be in the Google Search app to use the voice functionality. However, in regards to the commercial you specified, that is the "Moto X" and it indeed follows voice commands even when the phone is asleep.

      The Moto X has a low-power core that is always running and keeping the sensors awake, so it can do stuff like respond to movement or the "OK Google" command when it's asleep.

  • CERTAINLY not the ones at work, since most of us have a) cubes, where we can hear a lot of what our co-workers are saying, and just try to block it out - can google deal with *that*?; b) those living in "open plan" offices, which means it would be completely unusable.

    mark
    --
    Why voice computing will never come into the workplace:
    Just fired employee, walking out of HR: START! RUN! FORMAT C:, YES, YES, YES!!!!!

  • Works just fine to say "OK Goo" as well.

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