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Supporting speech to text across browsers for voice search

Until today, if you wanted to use speech to text in browsers across desktop and mobile, you were either limited to browsers that offered native support (currently just Chrome and Edge, plus Firefox behind a flag), or you had to invest significant upfront time to implement a third-party speech to text provider. Today, however, we are excited to announced that our friends at AssemblyAI have built an InstantSearch.js widget for speech recognition that combines the ease of implementation that InstantSearch is known for with their own high-quality speech to text.

A little bit of history on InstantSearch and voice search

When our customers came to us to ask how their customers could search hands-free, we released voice overlays for Android and iOS, followed by an IntantSearch.js widget for voice search on mobile websites using the browsers’ native capabilities. Since then, we’ve had great feedback from our customers, who loved the ability to have voice-powered search on their sites and in their apps within minutes.

Algolia’s goal with InstantSearch is to make great search easy to build, while giving others the tools to build new widgets that support new forms of searching. So it was with voice, and it’s why we’re happy to see AssemblyAI’s InstantSearch.js widget that supports speech to text across browsers on every platform.

Where can you use this?

It’s simple: anywhere that you have search! Voice search is more than just “Alexa, how much does a whale weigh?” (It depends on the type of the whale.) Your users want voice search on their favorite shopping platforms, content sites, and marketplaces. A study from PWC showed that 71% of users prefer to search through voice than by using a keyboard. Voice search is often faster than typing, and users find that they make fewer mistakes: we need to give them the easier way to search.

If you’re looking for more inspiration and how it all works, you might want to watch our webinar on what voice search can do for retail, read our eBook on voice search for media, or check out our case study on how WW used Algolia to enable food tracking for their users.

How long does it take to implement?

Implementing voice search with Algolia will take less than an afternoon. You can see all of the steps inside our documentation. This is a great way to get started with voice, and to start meeting your users where they want to be.

Remember, voice search is all about giving your users the ability to ask for your products wherever they are when they think of what you sell. Without this easy outlet, they might instead go to Google or decide to hold off until another time—which never comes. Voice ensures that you aren’t forgotten about.

Want to learn more about what Algolia can do for your search—web, mobile, voice—needs? Schedule a demo.