If you own one of the many different types of Chromebooks available on the market, the probability is that you also will own an Android device and you have some clue of what Google Now is. This new ability to say “Ok Google” within Google Now and ask it questions or submit commands to your device is very cool. If you were as excited as I was to learn of these changes to Google Now, when they appeared in the last update recently, you will be just as eager and enthusiastic to know that your Chromebook also now supports the “OK Google” command.
The hotword/command stemmed from Google’s wearable technology; Google Glass (“OK Glass”). Google is on a mission to bring all its devices in line to support the “OK Google” hotword which allows its users to voice command whatever they want the machine to do (within reason) just by speaking.
The Moto X has a similar, built in functionality, but on a much more intuitive level as it has an always listening microphone feature that responds to the hotword whether you are using the phone or not. You can also get this functionality from an app that is currently available on the Google Play Store called Open Mic+, which once turned on, always listens for the hotword and continues to open Google Now and wait for your next command. This is good news for Chromebook owners as it makes interacting with your Chrome OS enabled device that little bit easier.
All of this does seem very Siri-like to me. Are Apple’s rivals donning the same cap, only at a later timeframe? Who knows? All I do know is that the interactive voice command features of devices like the Chromebook make for a future world of human/machine interaction never before seen until now.
To enable the feature, this is what you need to do: If you’re on the Dev Channel now and have previously enabled the App Launcher Start Page hidden behind the experimental chrome://flags/#enable-app-launcher-start-page flag, it should work out the box. Just say “Ok Google” and search for something by saying it.
This information comes from Googler François Beaufort via his Google+ page.
[Image via makeuseof]