With the proliferation of voice-controlled digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home and mobile voice search, people are becoming accustomed using voice commands. According to our Rise of Voice report, 53 percent of consumers are now comfortable providing information to businesses through their voice assistants. So it was only a matter of time until having to type your way across the web became too tedious to bear and voice control came to the desktop web browser. It appears that Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, is leading the charge as it develops a voice-controlled web browser called Scout, which it announced at its June all-hands meeting.
The Mozilla Scout browser won’t just eliminate the toil of typing in URLs, it will also be able to read websites to you. For example, saying “Hey Scout, read me an article about the best call intelligence platform” would result in Scout reading you articles from the Invoca blog (hopefully).
With no need to use a keyboard, touchscreen, or mouse, this has the potential to change the way we all use the web. Not to mention that this will be hugely beneficial to those who need accessibility assistance, potentially opening the web to more people than ever. This revolution may also help the privacy-focused browser make up market share that has been lost to Google’s Chrome browser over the last several years.
It seems like this is something that could have happened years ago, but voice recognition technology did not reach the levels of accuracy that make hands-free web access possible until 2017 when Google was able to reach human-level speech comprehension accuracy.
I for one can’t wait to try Scout’s hands-free browsing experience. Though I’ll give it a shot at home to spare my coworkers from an audible version of my web browsing history. Maybe if you use Private Browsing it will let you whisper…