Google demonstrates Web Speech API; lets you give 'voice' to silent movies

Voice recognition on Chrome by Web Speech API was introduced last month. Like most would know, ...

Voice recognition on Chrome by Web Speech API was introduced last month. Like most would know, voice recognition showed developers how they could use the power of voice to compose emails, among other web tasks. Google is now demonstrating this technology to everyone with The Peanut Gallery. 


Those with a flair, or love for screenwriting, can find themselves donning that hat in The Peanut Gallery. It lets you add intertitles to classic, black-and-white movie clips by simply talking out loud as you watch them. Users get a bunch of black-and-white movie clips in the Peanut Gallery to choose from – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Scene no.1), The Kid (Scene no.2), to name a few – and add intertitles to the ones they pick. 


Here's Google introducing The Peanut Gallery:



Go to to begin with, and you can start almost as soon as you pick a movie clip of your choice. For starters though, you will have to try saying "Action" to check if your microphone is in place and working. From there on, as users speak, they will watch the text appearing on their screen. Once the short clip ends, users have the option  of either viewing what they've created or starting over. Additionally, they can show off their skills to their friends by sharing it with them. 


Google's Aaron Koblin writes, "We hope that developers will find many uses for the Web Speech API, both fun and practical—including new ways to navigate, search, enter text, and interact with the web. We can’t wait to see how people use it."


In January, Google launched Chrome 25 Beta for the desktop version of the browser and teased several new features that it said could be a part of the more stable release. The beta version came with the Web Speech API with voice support, a new tab page with a search box and blocking of silent extension installations. Web Speech is a JavaScript API that will help developers integrate speech recognition into their apps. Google has pushed voice support heavily on phones and is now bringing it to desktop version of its browser too. “Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice. With today’s Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think,” wrote Google in its blog announcing the release of Chrome 25 beta.


The announcement of this beta came only days after Google announced that it had merged the development cycles of Android and desktop version of Chrome. It was anticipated then that it would get a little challenging for developers to create web apps that will make optimum use of this new feature, because after all, a phone would require voice commands more often than a desktop would.


Google also explained with a demo how the Web Speech API will work. The other two user-specific features were already spoken about by Google in December. Chrome will now launch a search box in the new tab page and will also keep queries in the omnibox after a search is performed. The default search engine you use in your Chrome will appear as you hit "New Tab", as Google will not be pushing its own engine in this update.

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