'Touchless' Chrome's here: Prepare for more search shouting

Google announced a new extension for Chrome on Tuesday that will allow for voice-activated searching in the desktop browser. Get ready to hear the phrase "OK, Google" a lot more often.

Voice-activated search on Chrome
Search for folks who aren't so touchy-feely. Google

It's bound to happen to someone this holiday season. You're up to your elbows in a Thanksgiving (or Hanukkah) turkey's chest cavity when you're hit by a nagging feeling that you've forgotten a key part of the recipe. Most of us would have to spend the next five minutes scrubbing bird innards off our hands and then drying them off enough to check the recipe without dirtying the screen or keyboard. Until now.

As of Tuesday, Chrome users can keep their mitts all up in that bird's business and simply shout a search for "super easy and intrusive Thanksgiving turkey recipe" across the room at their browser. So long as you've got a new Chrome extension installed, all you need to do is give the "OK, Google" command that will be familiar to users of Google Now on Android devices followed by your search or question.

Google-owned Motorola's flagship Moto X comes equipped with a unique "touchless control" feature that works in a similar fashion and allows a user to shout commands without having to unlock or even touch the device. The new Google Nexus 5 also has voice control baked into Google Now, but you'll have to at least get to your home screen before it starts listening to you.

My bet is this grand push toward hands-free searching is all part of Google's grand plan to acclimatize society to the notion in preparation for the big consumer release of Glass. Prepare for a bold new world in 2014 filled with people shouting random search queries in all directions. The Oxford English Dictionaries' word of the year for 2013 was " selfie, " and I'm thinking the phrase 'OK, Google" is already an odds-on favorite for next year.

Check out Chrome's new voice search in action below.

 

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