Recognition Speech Sample: Voice Recognition and Reading Text in the Browser

Voice recognition is one of the symbols of opportunity that the modern world gives us. Thanks to Siri and Google, this technology is now being developed day by day. But it is present not only in the mobile assistant. Have you ever noticed the microphone icon on the right of the Google search box?

Voice Recognition is available in the browser thanks to the power of a new experimental JavaScript API “webkitSpeechRecognition”.

Voice recognition

The scheme of work of Webkit Speech Recognition is quite simple from the client perspective. It is a “black box” that automatically processes the spoken words and provides a simple string, with which you can work in the future:

// create the recognizer
var rec = new webkitSpeechRecognition();
// recognize the speec before the client begins to say something
rec.interimResults = true;
// specify the language to be recognized
rec.lang = 'en-En';
// use the callback to work with results
rec.onresult = function (event) {
  var res = event.results[event.resultIndex];
  if (res.isFinal) {
    alert('You said: ' + res[0].transcript);
  } else {
    console.log('Temporary result: ', res[0].transcript);
// start listening

The detailed documentation can be found on the Mozilla Developer Network. However, the spotty support in browsers is not so gladdening. Today, the recognition is only supported by Opera and Chrome.

Voice recognition

The other API “speechSynthesis” has much better support. You can run it not only in Chrome and Opera but in Safari, in Firefox and even in the latest Microsoft Edge.

Usage is reduced to thereby three lines in pure JavaScript:

  new SpeechSynthesisUtterance('Hello world!')

You can also choose the voice and adjust a lot of other options which are written in detail in MDN:

var voice = speechSynthesis.getVoices();
var phrase = new SpeechSynthesisUtterance('What's up?);
phrase.voice = voices[1];

Thanks for your attention!

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