'OK Google' hands-free searching comes to desktop browsers

Chrome extension now available as a free download.

Google has released a web extension for its desktop Chrome browser, which makes it possible to carry out hands-free web searches.

The Google Voice Search Hotword tool allows users to conduct searches from Google.com without having to touch their keyboard. Users simply start their search with the command "OK Google" and then ask a question.

At present the searching is restricted to English language users and is in beta, but it still works quickly - answering short factual questions instantaneously. Google is touting the practical benefits of the hands-free search whilst you are performing activities such as cooking.

"It's that time of year, the in-laws are coming for a tasty Turkey Day dinner. You're elbow-deep in your turkey, ready to start the stuffing and you need to quickly calculate how many ounces of walnuts are in a cup," the firm noted on a Google+ post.

"This year, rather than stopping midway through to wash your hands and type in a search, you can just speak to your laptop: OK Google, how many ounces are in one cup?' Et voila, the cooking can go on. You can also say OK Google, set a timer for 30 minutes' so you don't forget to baste that turkey.

The OK Google' search functionality premiered on Nexus 5 smartphone which was the first device to run the Android KitKat operating system.

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