With the upgrade to Version 11 of the Google Chrome Browser comes a new feature – voice to text. We’ve had that functionality via software packages like Dragon Naturally Speaking for the PC or Dragon Dictation for iPhone / iPad for some time now. It has been the saviour in many special education classrooms although the challenge has always been training the software in what your voice sounds like.
Now, it comes to the browser? (and, presumably to the Chrome Operating System at some time)
As you can imagine, with new technology like this, there will be time required before there’s a big adoption but you can try it out today and see what you think.
Make sure that you’ve got the latest version of the browser (just head over to "About Google Chrome") Chances are you’ve got the latest since Chrome does it best to silently keep you up to date.
A site that is ready to go for the voice to text is one part of Google Translate.
The default setting is to detect the source language. That part still works well but the speech to text is only available when you select English as your source language. In the dialogue box where you would normally type your text or copy and paste text, you’ll notice a little microphone in the bottom right corner. Click on it and Chrome begins to listen. After a few seconds of capture, the voice to text takes place. But….will….this….work…. Yes, I’m watching Star Trek as I test this!
I must admit that it took a number of takes before I got a good capture. I never realized how much background noise and dramatic music played during the episodes! That’s one noisy bridge. But, I did get a section that wasn’t too bad. The following instruction from Kirk to Chekov captured nicely.
Not all of the voice to text was successful but it was fun to play around with. Definitely, this is a feature that will require some refinement . But, if you’re looking for a glimpse of the future in browsing, give it a shot today.
My testing laboratory
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