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Google wants to give desktop web more voice

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Google has launched a new feature in its Chrome browser that could enable a range of additional voice command features over the desktop web, such as having "a freestyle rap battle".

The US tech giant this week released the Chrome 25 beta, including the Web Speech API, enabling developers to bring more voice command and speech-to-text features to the desktop web or apps.

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Google said that the JavaScript API could enable users to do many more tasks with their voice, such as composing an email by speaking.

In a blog post, Google software engineer and speech specialist Glen Shires said that voice commands can already be used for web search on a computer or smartphone, but there is "so much more" that could be done.

"Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice," he said.

"With today's Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think."

Shires suggested that the Web Speech API could make "web pages come alive by enabling them to listen to... users", or allow consumers to "talk apps into doing all sorts of things".

Users and developers can download the Chrome Beta now to try out the latest enhancements.

Watch a video below introducing the new speech-to-text feature:

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