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Use vocal commands in your website (native Chrome API)

9zemian5 profile image Oleksandr Demian ・3 min read

This morning I was wondering: what is the cool feature I can add to my website? The first think that came in my mind was: "navigate the website using my voice". The first thing to do is, obviously, research. Came out it is much easier than I could imagine. I implemented it in my website (made with Svelte) in 30 minutes, enabling the vocal navigation between sections. However, here I will explain some basics with pure javascript and html (no bundler, no framework, only javascript).

Expected result

Simple webpage with a button that will enable speech recognition, text will be displayed above the button (in order to simplify the task, it will record only one speech per time).


Following is required:

  • Chrome
  • index.html and main.js files


Nothing interesting here: a simple webpage with text(speech display) and button (trigger speech recognition).

        <title>Vocal commands</title>
            body {
                padding: 0;
                margin: 0;
                display: flex;
                flex-direction: column;
                justify-content: center;
                align-items: center;

                height: 100vh;

            button {
                background-color: white;
                border: 1px solid black;
                padding: 10px;
                cursor: pointer;
                border-radius: 15px;

                background-color: red;
                color: white;
                border: 1px solid white;
        <h1 id="text">Text</h1>
        <button id="start">Start</button>

    <script src="./main.js"></script>


Here is where the magic is done.

const speechButton = document.getElementById("start");
const text = document.getElementById("text");

//webkitSpeechRecognition instance
let recognition = null;

//display text to user
const displayText = (txt) => {
    text.innerText = txt;

const setup = () => {
    //create new instance of webkitSpeechRecognition
    recognition = new webkitSpeechRecognition();

    //continuous = false: stop after recognition is done (with true it will continue to recognize text until manual shutdown)
    recognition.continuous = false;
    //language setup (I didnt tried other languages)
    recognition.lang = 'en-US';

    //result event is triggered each time some text was recognized
    recognition.addEventListener("result", (event) => {
        //get the recognized text
        const word = event.results[0][0].transcript;

        //trim as it can have white spaces
        let fWord = word.trim();

        console.log('Result received: ' + fWord);
        //display the result of text recognition
        displayText("You sad: " + fWord);

    //end event is triggered after recognition is stopped
    recognition.addEventListener("end", () => {
        speechButton.disabled = false;

    //a bit of error handling
    recognition.addEventListener("error", () => {
        speechButton.disabled = false;
        displayText("Error occurred");

//start speech recognition (disabling button, 'cause of users)
const start = () => {
    speechButton.disabled = true;
    displayText("Say something...");

//stop recognition (although there is no need for it in this case)
const stop = () => {

//check if webkitSpeechRecognition exists (otherwise it will crash in some browsers)
const canListen = () => {
    return webkitSpeechRecognition != null;

    //setup speech recognition

    //speech recognition will start after button click
    speechButton.addEventListener("click", () => {
} else {
    //notify user that he cannot do speech recognition
    speechButton.addEventListener("click", () => {
        alert("webkitSpeechRecognition module is not defined");


The code above is pretty simple, you can easily integrate it within any modern framework. The only drawback is the speed and precision (it takes a bit too long to recognize text, and it fails a lot).

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