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Speechify enables HTML5 text speech for Google Chrome 11

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On Wednesday, we saw the Google Chrome 11 beta and all its great new features, and now there’s an extension for it; That was very fast! Your name is Speaking and this is an extension that requires Google Chrome 11 beta to be installed, which will hopefully be on the stable channel soon, and takes the power of HTML5 to provide speech-to-text capabilities on many sites.

Now when you install Speechify on Chrome 11+ you will notice on many websites you visit, that the search boxes will have a small gray microphone icon located on the right, and when you click on the icon it will turn blue and a Speak now with a volume indicator will appear, then you can speak the search term you’re looking for instead of typing it: speech-to-text translation doesn’t happen locally on your computer, when you speak, the voice is packaged and sent to the Google cloud for analysis and then it will come back as a text result, as you can see, it’s very fast. With Speaking you can use your voice on many sites, such as Google and Bing, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon and many others.

Now you must ask yourself, does it really work? And the short answer is: it depends; the extension itself works, also remember this google chrome extension is still in beta so it will be buggy for a while, and there is also a known quora search issue. Speech recognition can take a bit of practice to get right, for example in a test I said “cars” and Speechify returned “call”, when I said “Google” Speechify returned “Google”, for single words it seems to work fine , when you’re trying to complete sentences or phrases, it can be a bit tricky.

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If you installed Google Chrome 11, you may have noticed that voice input is not enabled by default, but don’t worry, you’re covered, check out this article to enable voice input in Chrome 11.

What do you think of Speechify? What could be the best implementation for a function like this? Be the first to leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!

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