The Google Voice Search Hotword Beta¹ Chrome Extension which allows you to say "Ok Google" on Google Search and start speaking your search is great but wouldn't it be greater if it was simple option to toggle in Chrome?

Yes! The chromium team has just started to work on this feature. Once enabled in the Chrome Search Settings, Chrome would listen for you to say "Ok Google" and then send the sound of the next thing you say, plus a few seconds before, to Google. 

As you can see below, two options will be available:
- Stop listening for "Ok Google" after 5 minutes
- Allow in incognito

¹ https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-voice-search-hotwo/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn/details

Source: https://codereview.chromium.org/134103005
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René Hesse's profile photoRaul Santos's profile photoAnanya Gupta's profile photoDavid King's profile photo
15 comments
 
Can this feature be programmed to permanently run for machines where chrome is set to run in background? This would be awesome like the Moto X.
 
Please, enable hotword detection for Italian language :D
 
This exact same thing happened with "Search Google for this image". First was an extension, then it was integrated in Chrome". I'm glad to see this!
 
Wait, it will stop listening after 5 minutes of what? 5 minutes after Chrome has started? 5 minutes after pressing an "activate" button? 5 minutes after visiting google.com? None of those sound like a reasonable option.
 
+Kiril Vatev, i'm not sure if you've used the current extension, but these same options already exist within the extension settings.

essentially, if you go to, say, google.com, you'll notice the microphone is filled in (all gray).  this indicates it's actively listening.  if after 5 minutes, you don't say anything, it stops actively listening and the microphone turns white.
 
+Robb Weeks Yes, I have. The extension clearly states that this listening feature only works when you go to google.com. Therefore, we can assume that it is 5 minutes after getting to that page (something I specified in my question). However, something built into Chrome should not have a ridiculous requirement such as visiting a specific site first. I don't know about you, but I don't actually go to www.google.com when I do searches (I enter them directly into the omnibar). It I have to go to google.com in order to use this, it is would be the same as having to manually turn an an "automatic" feature every time you want to use it.
 
+Kiril Vatev, i don't disagree about it being a hassle having to go to google.com to use it.

that being said, if you're using a chromebook (as i am), on the latest canary version, voice search is on by default using the app launcher.  hitting the search key and then speaking your search makes it more convenient and applicable to the built-in settings.
 
+Robb Weeks I don't think of it as a hassle so much as it being useless. The prime use case for a hotword-triggered voice search is that it requires no manual input.

Think of this as you sitting back in your chair, watching a movie on one screen while holding a very needy kitten. You suddenly have the urge to search. Having to press a mouse button/keyboard key/type something pretty much defeats the purpose of hotword-detection. Both the hotword and the manual trigger express the intent of wanting to search.

With all of that in mind, I think it is clear than any sane programmer would make a hotword-detected voice search feature be available system wide (as in, all of Chrome). As such, what even is the trigger for the 5 minute timeout? I am just being curious, and also kind of sassy toward whoever wrote that settings menu item.
 
+Kiril Vatev, in a perfect voice controlled world, i would agree with what you're saying.

however, if we really think about what voice search is (even on android), it's nothing more than a faster way to get to the results page.  once you're on the results page, we still have to do manual interaction with the computer/phone/tablet.

so in your example of holding the cat, yes, not having to do anything to search for something would be ideal.  but then what?  to continue on in your example, we'd then have to be able to say something like "scroll down the page, open the 5th link" in order to not move the cat.

of course, i'm sure google wants to be able to pop up a card with a definitive answer to the query, and it does in some instances, though we're a long way off from having a results page with no links and just answers.
 
+Robb Weeks I think you answered your own question there. Google already pops up cards for many things -- weather, how tall is X person... mostly anything you would ask when you are too lazy to use your hands. If you want to know the ins and outs of floating point calculations in binary, then you have likely already settled for a bit of reading and you expect input. It is very rare, for both me and everyone sitting around me in my office (such a scientific survey), to see the answer to our question on Google in the little search blurb on the first couple of results. If I don't find a simple answer there, I do a different search. Clicking on search results is such an outdated phenomenon.
 
Woo! Sounds awesome! Will this work on pages such as google.co.uk instead of just google.com? - If so, will it have a British accent?? :) :)
 
Hey now! I want mine to have a British accent too... or a German one for days I need to get things done. If they enable accents, I demand that they be configurable.
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