Better search with speech input?

Recently I stumbled upon a small article by Otto — well known in the WordPress world — talking about a currently still little known feature: Voice Search. He describes how adding just a little bit of code to the search input form field, will allow visitors using the Chrome browser will get the extra ability to fill the search field using voice commands via the computer’s microphone.

Similarly intrigued by that possibility, I added the feature to the (former) 4Visions website. And indeed, visiting it with Google Chrome or Chromium (on Linux) shows a little mic icon on the right edge of the search field. Clicking it opens up a little baloon showing that the microphone is open for input.

Speaking into the mic does indeed fill the field, but my first attempts to do a voice search do not show a high correlation between the words spoken and the terms that end up in the form. It seems I and maybe Chromium need a little practice getting to understand each other better ;)

All in all, it looks like a nice feature that might actually prove to be useful for certain visitors. I think I’ll leave it activated on this site! So come back dressed in Chrome or any other WebKit garment like Safari cloths, and try it out.

It’s that little search field on the top of the sidebar on the right… And don’t hesitate to let me know if you’re using speech input anywhere. :)

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