Feeds

Siri, will Chrome's new speech features kill you?

Google bakes Web Speech API into browser beta

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Arguments that WIMPs' (windows, icons, menus, pointers) status as the dominant user interface paradigm are under challenge like never before just got a little stronger, after Google announced that a new beta of its Chrome browser will adopt the Web Speech API.

The API is a W3C initiative that makes it possible for browsers to tune into audio input, or even record sound.

If you're brave enough to run the Chrome 25 beta, available here, Google's demo of a voice-driven email composer shows off the new feature nicely. Google says the API also works in the Chrome Android beta.

Once the feature makes it into production versions of Chrome, things could get mighty interesting. A voice-enabled Android browser would take the mobile OS's voice-recognition capabilities beyond its current Voice Actions abilities. It will also take Android past Apple's flawed speech Siri recognition – which is, in your correspondent's experience, rather less useful than the voice-driven search in Google's iOS search app. A speechified version of Chrome on iOS with speech baked in would put the cat among the pigeons.

Speech in Chrome is not Google's only post-WIMPs experiment. One worth looking at is the collection of games created to promote global men's health charity Movember. The games use a PC's camera to control an on-screen mustache, with changes of your head position and wiggles of your upper lip replacing more conventional game controllers.

Google's adoption of the Web Speech API comes on top of numerous gesture-recognition efforts, including Intel's recent release of an SDK for its perceptual computing toolkit, Kinect for PC, and gesture-driven interfaces in all manner of Smart TVs. The frequency of announcements of this ilk signal that the industry is moving beyond the WIMPs interface. Google's addition of speech to Chrome will offer another post-WIMPs method of interaction and do so in a crucial class of application.

For now, the new Chrome beta offers more-prosaic challenges and opportunities thanks to new features including the inclusion of the Resource Timing API, the User Timing API, improvements to database handling, and new developer tools, all of which are detailed here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.