Google Voice Search Comes to Google Maps

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-08-26 Print this article Print

Google Chrome is the most voice-enabled browser in the free world, as the company propelling it continues to weave voice throughout its core applications via Chrome.

The search engine Aug. 25 switched on the ability to let users speak search queries into their computer microphone to look for places and get directions for Google Maps.

The move comes two months after Google launched Google Voice Search for the desktop via Chrome, and works the same way as that tool.

That's because it leverages the exact same speech recognition and application model used for the Google Voice Search for Android smartphones and tablets.

Users simply click the microphone icon in Google Maps, speak their location or direction queries and wait for the results.

This tool leverages Google's massive speech recognition database, which recognizes more than 1 billion words. Even with that word bank, Google is only about 60 percent accurate for voice search queries. I tried an easy one first, "New Haven, Connecticut":

GV Maps.png

Worked for Tijuana, Mexico, too:

GV Tijuana.png

Think of this as similar to the Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn direction software for Android smartphones, only without the turn-by-turn directions.

The idea is that users begin to use their voices and speech to execute search commands, freeing their hands from extra typing, ostensibly saving time.

Search products such as, Google Maps and the like are natural starting points for this tool, but you should expect Google to layer voice across all its Web services and apps where it makes sense.

Imagine being able to upload videos to YouTube, and even manage documents in Google Docs, or sort email messages in Gmail with your voice. Wouldn't that be something? |

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