And at least some of the time, these tools actually work as advertised. But when you're at a desktop computer, voice control is still a thing of the future.
Yes, many newer desktops now include voice recognition software that lets you control a few things. But Zachary Pomerantz is aiming for something more. With an open source project called JuliusJS—a tool that helps software developers build voice-controlled applications for web browsers—he wants to foster a whole new wave of Siri-like apps for the desktop.
Today, when developers are interested in adding voice controls to a web app, there are few good ways of doing so. Modern browsers have some voice control tools baked in, but they always depend on some sort of remote service—such as the one operated by Google—that handles the basic voice processing on a distant server. This involves streaming voice across the net, which can slow things down.