Google makes searching via voice and pictures available on the desktop
Two functions from the mobile world have now been made available for Google’s desktop version of their search engine: voice recognition and picture searching. They have also sped up the first search result with Turbo for Google Chrome users.
Mobility functions are now starting to make their way to the desktop. This is a reverse of the tendency where desktop solutions were deployed to mobile devices, with Google integrating into the desktop version of their search engine two functions that have come from the mobile version of their search engine.
Thanks to voice recognition, it is possible to perform searches with your voice through the microphone. To do this, an icon in the form of a microphone appears in the search field. Currently under development, this voice recognition function is only available in English on Google.com.
While the searching via voice was a useful function on the mobile version of Google (paired with a virtual keyboard), it’s not so sure that it will find its audience on the desktop. Could this simply be a gadget? The function may be disruptive in a professional environment if everyone starts talking to Google, and this is without counting on surrounding noises which could disturb the entries request. Having your hands free can be useful in some cases, with Google using the example of a cooking recipe.
This voice recognition is not a surprise though, as it has already been introduced into Google translations with Google Chrome integrating the HTML5 Speech Input API.
Initiated with Google Goggles and less anticipated, the picture search function is now also available. This function is available in multiple languages, and Google Chrome isn’t the only browser to benefit from the service as Firefox is also compatible (although not IE9).
With the picture search function, we find a dedicated field with a camera icon next to it. This allows you to paste the URL of a picture or export the URL of a picture. Dragging and dropping of pictures is also supported. It should be stated that no picture that is published will be made public. Picture searching is also not facial recognition.
Using this principle, Google looks at the picture and compares it to their enormous photos database to identify similar images. This allows search results to be displayed corresponding to the picture, although this can at times return some interesting results. It should be noted that extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox allow you to search for pictures via a contextual menu displayed on pictures stored on the web.
Displaying the first result instantaneously
Besides these two functions, Google has announced the integration of the instant search results of their pictures (available in the coming months in all languages), in addition to Instant Pages in Google Chrome (from the next beta version; Google Chrome 13).
This is a complimentary tool to Google Instant to pre-load (pre-rendering in Chrome) a result almost instantly once you have clicked. Such loading is in reality only done for the first link on the results page. The first result is therefore displayed in 0 seconds.
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