The advent of voice interaction with devices has already seen widespread popularity with mobile users, and is beginning to extend its reach to desktop/laptop users as well. Windows 10 users have had plenty of time to get acquainted to speaking commands to Cortana, and asking generic questions, like directions, weather information, movie tickets, and flight schedules. As of Mac OS Sierra, Apple users are also beginning to get acclimated to interacting with Apple Siri on their Macs.
The problem with voice-operated virtual assistants on a desktop is that they don’t really have a lot of freedom, and they aren’t really able to replace all functions that can be done with cursor and keyboard input. Manual action is required in many instances when certain files and folders must be retrieved, and when filling up forms online, or using software like Photoshop or Microsoft Word, to design, or type a document.
The reason for such limited reach, is mostly related to security, due to the fact that voice commands may be given independently of whom the voice belongs to, as it happened years ago when the owner of a smart home in Southern California discovered how easy it was for a neighbor to unlock the front door by simply shouting at an iPad located inside the house.
With that said, there are plenty of applications where voice commands may be useful, such as a better way of browsing and navigating web pages. Mozilla’s “Project Scout” is rumored to be aimed at solving the many hurdles that keep voice-controlled web browsing almost impossible to achieve.
The project is still in its infancy according to CNET, and it is unclear whether it will tie in with Mozilla’s existing ongoing endeavor of bringing VR to web browsing as well.
What it is know at this stage is that the project will focus on security, and it will come in the form of a dedicated app, most likely available to Windows 10, iOS, Android and Mac users via their respective stores. It’s also possible that the app may not be made available as a separate download on desktop computers, making it a closed-source platform.
When it comes to security, Mozilla has plenty of experience spanning decades, which is why it would be, according to CNET, the most suitable company to build a secure voice-controlled browser, considering that it is safe enough for users to access the Tor network and allow for anonymous browsing.