Google Now voice search arriving on the desktop

Google Search chief Amit Singhal wants to build the Star Trek computer, which answers any question you ask.


Google spent most of the Google I/O keynote on Android, Chrome and Google+, but the cash cow — Google Search — was given some time on stage. Google search chief Amit Singhal announced that voice search would become available on the desktop via Chrome and the Chrome OS, and Google Now would gain new cards for public transit commute times and movies, TV shows and video games.

To answers many kinds of queries, Google Now present “cards,” boxes with information on traffic, weather, sports, stocks, flights, events, shipments, appointments, and other data. You can ask questions, such as “What time does the San Francisco Giants game start?” or “What will the weather in New York be like next week?,” and it offers an info card and audio response when appropriate.

Google voice-enabled search on the Chrome desktop.


Chrome will enable “conversational search” with voice recognition and natural language understanding similar to the way Google Now works on mobile device — just say “Google” to activate voice search.

In addition, Google Now is adding the capability to set reminders. Google Now, which launched last year on
Android and last month on Apple’s iOS, allows for natural language questions via voice or text and can generates spoken or text results. Apple’s Siri, a competitor to Google Now, is not available for the
Mac OS or Android.

Read: The future of Google Search is Now

Google Now includes new cards for public transit data.


Singhal also announced that Google’s Knowledge Graph will have more statistical data available to assemble answers, and add language support for Polish, Turkish and simplified and traditional Chinese. Knowledge Graph gives Google Now and Google’s overall search the ability to deliver more precise answers to queries based on its database of more than 570 million entities and billions of relationships among them.

Live Blog: Google’s I/O keynote with commentary by CNET’s editors

Read: Full coverage of Google I/O

“This experience is rapidly developing and will take some time before it becomes the dominant search experience. There are several complex problems to solve, but our investment and commitment to getting there sooner rather than later are immense,” Singhal concluded.

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