Speech to Text: Browse the Internet Online With Your Voice

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Google’s newly released Chrome 11 Web browser introduces the ability to convert speech to text, allowing users to more easily conduct online searches or quickly transform dialogue into foreign languages using Google Translate.

Connect a microphone and click on a matching icon that appears within visible Web pages, and you can instantly dictate notes or URLs, which are converted to text and inserted into the current open window or form field. While primarily a boon for the disabled, speech-to-text features (currently available in English only) aim to making computing more accessible and free infrequent typists from the indignity of painfully pecking out five words per minute.

Chrome’s current speech-to-text applications remain limited, only fleetingly hinting at speech recognition’s potential to enhance the Internet browsing experience.