Firesay Adds Speech Recognition To Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 11, 2010
Updated • Feb 24, 2015
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Speech recognition has come a long way in recent time even though the technology still requires training to reduce error margins.

The requirements for speech recognition technologies are a capable microphone or webcam, and a software or operating system supporting the technology.

Up until now, mainly dictation software and software for disabled people made use of speech recognition, but the most recent advances have brought speech recognition to the brink of becoming an established technology in the mass market.

Speech in theory is a more natural way to articulate commands and a proper, working technology will eventually replace other input devices partially or even completely.

Firesay is an interesting add-on for Firefox, as it adds speech recognition to the web browser so that users can use voice commands to issue commands in the browser.

While it is not mentioned anywhere on the page, it appears to be only compatible with Windows related PCs. It would be great if Linux, Mac, and users with Windows XP could test the add-on to see if it is compatible with their operating system as well.

The developer recommends to train the speech recognition in the Windows Control Panel. Two steps are necessary: Step one to make sure the microphone is setup correctly, and to read aloud a short text to train the speech recognition software. Once that is done all is set to test some voice commands in Firefox.

Firesay is currently offered as a beta add-on, which means it has some problems associated with it that will be sorted out over time. It supports a limited number of voice commands, including:

  • go to, e.g. go to facebook, to load a website in a new tab and switch to that tab. Only a limited number of sites are currently supported, see the list here.
  • open, the same as go to
  • launch, the same as go to
  • Search Google keyword, e.g. search google ghacks, to search in Google for the keyword.
  • Close Tab, to close the active tab
  • Watch, Watch the Office, to watch the TV show the Office at Hulu.

Firesay could become a helpful Firefox add-on. It's limited command set, and problems with voice recognition, reduce its usefulness at the moment. If the developers sort those out, and add more commands, it could become a must have extension for many Firefox users.

Firesay can be downloaded from the Mozilla Add-ons Repository.

Update: Firesay seems to have been discontinued for Firefox. It is now available for the Chrome web browser.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Lorraine said on November 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Does Firefox have an online version of speech to text voice recognition? Or a free trial?

  2. Thomas said on August 12, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hmm, at first I thought it will type the text e.g. in forums that I speak…

    1. Martin said on August 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Not at this time Thomas, it remains to be seen what the devs add next to the add.on.

  3. Jack said on August 12, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Nice idea.
    Comes as standard with Opera, has done for years.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.