A Voice AI Browser ExtensionJuly 21, 2021
Web Wake Words
Voice-activated assistants have become part of our lives via mobile devices (like Siri) and smart speakers (like Alexa). But what about the web? Picovoice’s Porcupine wake word engine, plus WebAssembly, now allows web browsers to run wake words using on-device voice AI.
A dedicated wake word engine is the only feasible way to achieve always-listening behaviour, since it’s impractical—and a privacy nightmare—to continuously have a hot mic open to a cloud API. Using the Porcupine SDK for Web, we’ve created a proof-of-concept Chrome extension that offers multiple wake word options to trigger a Google voice search.
An open source starting point for voice web extensions
Wake word activated search is just a starting point. The WebExtensions API has a large list of features to control things like bookmarks and tabs, or could be tailored toward a specific site like YouTube. Porcupine also offers the possibility of listening to many wake words simultaneously. Rhino offers the ability to add a natural language capability while keeping the entire experience offline and private. The Picovoice SDK for Web combines these two engines together to create a complete voice assistant loop for the browser.