Google Voice Search on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

Google Voice Search on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

Summary: Google introduced major changes to its mobile and desktop-optimized search engines on Tuesday. One of the more surprising new features was the integration of Voice Search onto the desktop. But will people use it?

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TOPICS: Hardware, Browser, Google
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Google introduced major changes to its mobile and desktop-optimized search engines on Tuesday. One of the more surprising new features was the integration of Google Voice Search onto the desktop. But will people use it?

At work, the answer is probably no. This would add a lot of useless noise and chatter to office spaces. Can you just imagine if Voice Search actually doesn't recognize the term someone is saying (even though it is supposed to already know at least 230 billion words) and he/she has to practically scream it into the computer's microphone? No, that would not be helpful. It would also just waste a lot of time that could have been avoided by typing a few words.

At home, it's possible. There is less to no need for a headset with a built-in microphone, and users could speak as loudly as they might very well please. Considering Google didn't discuss much about the volume level of the speaker's voice, we have no idea if this matters or not. It really could if someone mumbles when whispering or something to that effect.

There are a few instances where Voice Search on the desktop might be very useful, most of which are already depicted in the demo below. One example is when translating between languages. For basic phrases and words, Google Translate has already proven itself to be one of the better online translators available for free.

Another instance would be when someone just happens to be in a hurry and doesn't have time to sit down and type. That person could search for flight information or the weather, as just a few examples, by talking to the computer (hopefully a bit slowly as a rushed voice would likely cause the search process to take longer) and then just glance at the screen. Then, boom. Done.

One could also argue that Voice Search would be helpful for searching for words and terms when you just don't know how to spell them. Searching by typing in Google's browser already leads to spelling suggestions when the entered keyword isn't recognized. But perhaps the user can't spell out the sounds as well as he/she could pronounce it. (That's a bit of a far-fetched example, but it could happen.)

However, at this point in time, it's difficult to imagine Voice Search on the desktop being as used as commonly as the mobile version. Even Voice Search for mobile isn't something everyone talks about all the time. I hardly ever see anyone actually use it, at least not on the street. But at least that one makes more sense as anyone who is on-the-go is more likely to want to say a search entry than type one in on a 3- or 4-inch touch screen.

Voice Search for the desktop definitely has more use potential than some of Google's other creations as of late. But it's going to be awhile before this new feature becomes a common one.

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Topics: Hardware, Browser, Google

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37 comments
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  • Seriously?

    I use google voice everyday to write texts, send emails and call contacts. Not to mention navigating to places and searching the internet. In fact I'm using it to write this post as we speak. Most people don't use it don't know all the benefits. Once I teach people how to use it they never stop using it. I think it's 1 of the greatest technological achievements of the android platform. Obviously you don't have an android otherwise you would know this for yourself. ( and I only had fix 1 word in this entire post)
    jivester
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @jivester A phone is different from laptop/PC.
      Zedox
      • Exactly; most of people will never want to talk to their PCs; voice tires .

        @Zedox: ... much faster than it may seem.

        And this looks stupid, as some cheap tacky scientific fantasy film from the past.
        DDERSSS
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @jivester

      Sucker. Just more prey for the Google Spynet. You are happy now, but you will live to regret participating.
      jorjitop
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @jivester I mostly use it for searching... When I'm txting and emailing I don't feel like talking to the phone because then that results in sharing my conversation.
      snoop0x7b
  • P. S.

    I was referring mostly to mobile. I do make very little use my desktop voice search functions.
    jivester
    • Thanks for catching up

      @jivester And that is what she was talking about :) I have been using Grand Central before Google purchased them. I would like to see a Microsoft Lync-esque client for Google Voice on the desktop but I doubt I would use voice search on my desktop.
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

        @facebook@... I was referring to the passage minimizing the use of voice on mobile devices. And I was referring to Voice Search application, not the voicemail which as you know is awesome. And fyi gmail works as the desktop client for voip and there are great chrome extensions for desktop options... But I digress tangentially :)
        jivester
  • Nothing new, I've been talking at my computer for years.

    You dirty *$&#&$*^@#(*$ Son of a *^$#%$&^#*....
    NoAxToGrind
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @NoAxToGrind I must say... Amazing. I talk to my computer like that too.
      snoop0x7b
  • "Voice Search", not "Google Voice"

    You keep using the term "Google Voice". I do not think it means what you think it means.

    "Google Voice" is not the same thing as "Voice Search". Google Voice is the service that provides a central management point for all phone communications (voicemail, calls, contacts, texts, etc.). Voice Search is what you mean. I was totally confused by the article until I realized the author was using the terms completely wrong.

    See: http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_voice
    ALISON SMOCK
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @ALISON SMOCK

      Thank you - ZDNet is clueless. The fact that a MAJOR tech news site doesn't know the difference between Google Voice and Voice Search is somewhat alarming.
      ddevito@...
      • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

        @ddevito@... Rachel King worse than the average ZDNet writer, and that's saying something.
        snoop0x7b
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @ALISON SMOCK I was very confused as well. I kept waiting for them to talk about being able to use my desktop as a phone, but they kept talking about doing searches. I thought I had missed something and that Google renamed their products.
      cpatterson1177
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @ALISON SMOCK Thanks for clarifying that for them. It's even in the title of the article! What the heck are these people thinking. I guess they simply aren't.
      GTGeek88
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @ALISON SMOCK You're right. I was thinking that when I read the article.
      snoop0x7b
  • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

    Please correctly name the technology being talked about. I was excited, at first, until I saw the video and realized this article is talking about "Voice Search" and NOT "Google Voice".
    profd2004
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @profd2004

      Kudos - ZDNet is a joke.
      ddevito@...
  • Huh??

    As someone who used the actual Google Voice I found this article confusing. Maybe I should get a job as a tech writer since it apparently requires not even a casual knowledge of technology.
    peterseb80
    • RE: Google Voice on the desktop: Will people adopt it?

      @peterseb80

      Couldn't have said it better myself.
      ddevito@...