VOICE CONTROL ADVOCATE Google has rolled out the "OK Google" wake up feature that has become familiar to Android users to its Chromebook line.
Well known Google evangelist François Beaufort, who recently announced new security features in the Mac version of Chrome, revealed on his Google+ page that the "OK Google" feature is already available in the development stream for those using the experimental version of Google App Launcher.
Saying "OK Google" will now allow you to search for something by voice on a Chromebook. At present the functionality is limited, but Beaufort went on to explain that this is just the beginning. He said, "There are many things we could do such as [...] 'Ok Google, open Gmail' or 'Ok Google, chat with Josh'."
The Chromium changelog confirms that "Issue 29763004: Embeds offline voice recognizer plugin and its manager to app-list start page" was completed three weeks ago and closed.
Google has been focusing heavily on voice control in recent months, with its prime target being Google Now, the personal assistant client in Android, which has been improved to offer intelligent multiple choice, and on some handsets has "always on" responsiveness to the "OK Google" command.
While at this stage desktop commands remain comparatively primitive, this feature does further clarify Google's direction towards unified voice recognition across systems.
Google Now has been said to be integral to Google's plans for the future, including the Google smartwatch and a desktop replacement for the iGoogle personalised homepage.
With Google Glass expected to be available to the public in 2014, the addition of voice control for Chromebooks shows that the internet search giant remains committed to voice control in all software environments. µ