Hands-free typing: Google Docs offers dictation tool

26/02/2016

Are keyboards going obsolete? Google Doc's latest voice-dictation tool marks another move towards a voice and gesture based digital future.


The new tool means that users can now speak to their computers to compose memos, messages and reports in Google Docs.

The application has previously supported third-party voice-dictation tools, but the Alphabet unit has made dictation possible for any Google Docs user.

Google says the accuracy is improved by the work it’s already done with voice recognition in other applications.

Now, that same technology is making it possible to do things like align text and even remove formatting altogether.

Initially, the feature is only available through Google Docs when using Google’s Chrome browser on a desktop computer.

Google did not say when the feature might be rolled out of mobile devices- which could be a massive game cvhanger for work related activities. One of the biggest issues with writing a long document on a mobile device is that the keyboards on smartphones and tablets are usually awkward for extended use.

This feature has huge implications for accessibility. Using these tools, people who have limited use of a keyboard will be able to talk to their computer and type out documents more easily without using their hands.

Google competes with several other players in the productivity application market, notable Microsoft.

Voice dictation has grown in popularity in recent years as its accuracy improved. Fueling its growth are advances in artificial intelligence that help computers decipher what people are saying.

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