Google building speech capabilities for browsers

Company wants its technology to become standard for the Web and envisions a whole new class of applications

Google technologists are hopeful that audio capabilities they are developing for browsers could serve as industry-standard technology.

The company is developing voice recognition and text-to-speech capabilities for mobile and desktop browsers, said Ian Fette, product manager for the Google Chrome team, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco late last week. Chrome is Google's Web browser.

[ Google focused on Web media at the I/O conference. See InfoWorld's report. ]

"We're hoping that the text-to-speech APIs as well as the voice input, voice recognition ship in Chrome but also become a Web standard that is implementable by any browser out there," Fette said. He could not offer an estimate on when the capabilities would be in Chrome.

Fette stressed that people want to use voice input systems. "People want to speak their input for certain types of queries," he said.

"There's voice recognition and there's text-to-speech so we figured, why not build that into the browser," Fette said, adding that the company is hopeful its technology will enable a whole new class of applications.

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