Make Any Text Area Speech-Input Friendly (Chrome)

Want to draft emails, blog comments and other little bits of writing online by speaking to your computer? I’m certainly intrigued by the idea and a newly posted userscript makes it easy to do for Google Chrome users. Userscripts are wonderful little bits of code that developers write to bring new functionality or interface elements into any webpage. One of the newest posted at today is a speech-to-text script which I am using to write this blog post right now.

Created by Josh Mandel, who says he coded it with a broken arm, Speakable Textareas works pretty well! With just a few clicks, you can install the script in your browser and it will insert a little microphone icon you can click on to invoke the Google Chrome speech-to-text API. It’s quick and dirty but it’s still pretty cool.

To install the script, Chrome users can just hit the “Install” button in the top right of this page. Firefox users are out of luck.

Over the long-run, all of Google’s speech-to-text technology (Chrome, Google Talk and probably some other projects) are no doubt being used to teach its giant brain in the sky about what words real people tend to use together and what they sound like when pronounced. Apple, Microsoft and (I believe) Facebook are all working on the same kind of technology. Thus the future of natural language processing, machine intelligence and accessible interfaces may be built.

In the meantime, this little script is a pretty cool way to hit that Google API and speak blog comments instead of typing them!

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