HTML5 Speech Input Added to Chrome

The latest version of Chrome now adds support for speech input. This gives you the opportunity to let your readers actually talk to your applications and web pages, rather than be forced to type.

While this might not seem terribly useful, there are very useful applications, such as:

  • speak words to translate or get a definition
  • ask for directions of a map
  • hands-free browsing
  • zooming and panning with voice commands

I don’t know about you, but I have a vision of an HTML5 application where I could upload a photo, and then just say “zoom” and “enhance” and zoom in on the photo, like all those TV shows do.

And to do it, you just add a speech attribute to the <input> tag. For example:

<input type=text speech id=spoken-input>

Of course, to get it to work in Chrome you have to use the Webkit extension as well:

<input type=text x-webkit-speech=x-webkit-speech speech id="spoken-input>

I’ve got a simple working (if you’re on Chrome) example here.