Monday, February 24, 2014

A New trick for the lousy typist

Sitting at the computer today updating my Geneagoogling: Effective Google Searching presentation for my gig at The Parramatta Family History Group Meeting on Saturday has made me play around with Google.

I included a couple of slides on the newly reborn Google News Archive Search and then thought I should explore Google Voice Search. Now I thought this would be a bit gimmicky but decided to put it through its paces - I am in awe.

I usually don't go to the Google search page to carry out my searches I search by entering my query in the Chrome address bar. As I was preparing my slides today I noticed the microphone icon in the  search box on the Google search page and thought I should give it a whirl.
See the microphone icon in the search box
The first question I asked was "What is Genealogy?" I was rewarded with some results and a female voice reading me the definition at the top of the results page. Well done Google.

What is genealogy? Search results
I then tried GeniAus as a search term, Google was not able to cope with this or with a search for the Pusell name from my ancestry. I guess GeniAus and the Pusell family don't rate too highly in the Googlesphere. 

I carried on with searches for terms that might be more recognisable to Google like Hornsby, Sydney, Cobar (Place names) and general terms like Family History and Genealogy. Google recognised all of these. I did an image search for the Parramatta Female Factory and that also came up trumps.

Parramatta Female Factory search results

I may have to review my Google search habits.

I am a fan of voice recognition and have previously blogged about my use of the Dragon software which is getting rather old now. After playing with Google Voice Search I got to thinking that if Google had made voice recognition available on search then it would probably have it enabled for other apps like Google Drive so I did a search...

Google support tells me "You can speak instead of typing into any text box that contains this microphone icon mic " but one of my fave bloggers Amit from Digital Inspiration told me in a post (when I was holidaying last year so I didn't read it) about "Dictation v2.0, a web-based speech recognition app that will transcribe your voice into digital text using the Chrome Speech API. " He goes on to say "Getting started with Dictation in simple. Just plug in the microphone to your computer, click the Start Dictation button and watch as your spoken words are magically transformed into text. I'll have to see if it works with Google Drive.

Guess what GeniAus is going to do for the rest of the afternoon? I'll report on my investigations anon.


crgalvin said...

Then there is this from Amit -his text to speech , try this one for a surprise message

Jenny Mackay said...

G'day Jill

I have just discovered (well knew about it but hadn't used it) on my iPad/iPhone. I want to use voice recognition to type my travel blogs. Imagine recording the experience as it happens, then seeing it typed on the screen to share with friends. Probably not something you could do easily in a library though! I've also started using Siri more and she's great for asking about research results. Also Check out the RootsTech 2014 talk by Lisa Louise Cook.

Great that you blogged about this just as I had starting using it.

GeniAus said...

They don't quite get Geniaus, thanks Carmel.

Jenny would love the URLs of your travel blogs.

Anonymous said...

I have tried voice activated google search a few times but often it does not always understand what I am saying. More recently I have used it with more success compared to Siri especially when out and about with my mobile searching for a map location or something I need then and there. (Not while driving.) I do have the dictation app but have not used that much so should give it another go. It's great to learn from others experiences with these products.


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