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Google has begun testing an integration of voice search with the Google.com search engine.
Helpful tipster Matt Schlicht first spotted the feature earlier Monday afternoon. Voice search detects your computer’s microphone settings and can open up a ‘Speak now’ widget to detect your words and transcribe them into a search query.
Android phone owners should be familiar with Google Voice Search; it’s available in the Google Search widget. Google Voice Search on Android even translates voice commands into actions. For example, ‘Directions to Empire State Building New York’ will get you instant driving directions to Manhattan’s famous landmark.
Google has been working hard on improving the accuracy of its voice search product. It now recognizes Chinese and learns from your speech patterns. Perhaps now Google believes it’s accurate enough to begin testing with the general populace.
Right now, voice search seems to be in a limited testing period. We’ve reached out to Google for comment.
While searching by voice may be easier than typing in some cases, we don’t think you’re suddenly going to see an uptick in people shouting out their search queries. As our tipster pointed out on Twitter today, Google Voice Search ‘works surprisingly well but is very awkward to use in the office.’
What do you think of Google Voice Search? Should Google roll it out on its homepage?
Update: Google’s experiment is confirmed. ‘Google is constantly experimenting with new features,’ was the only thing a Google spokesperson would tell us officially, though.
The Google Voice Search Icon
Google.com users with access to the experiment might see this page the next time they visit Google.com
Google Voice Search Widget
Talking into the mic activates the Google Voice Search widget.
Google Voice Search Results