Mozilla, the community behind the Firefox web browser, has announced a new project called Scout. The new project appears to be a voice-activated web browser.

“With the Scout app, we start to explore browsing and consuming content with voice,” Mozilla said in an agenda item for its all-hands meeting this week in San Francisco. “This talk will discuss the architecture and key components needed for a voice platform, the required capabilities of those components and the challenges of working with the limitations and confines of existing platforms.”

Mozilla believes that its new web browser will be able to handle simple voice commands, like “Hey Scout, read me the article about polar bears.” Mozilla’s Scout project was first discovered by CNET.

By the looks of things, the project is still at a very early stage of development since Mozilla will be discussing what key components it will need to make the voice-activated browser work. As of now, it’s unclear when exactly Mozilla plans on launching the Scout web browser.

“We use our internal All Hands conference to come together so we can plan and build for the future. We know there is a great deal of excitement about the early stage projects and initiatives we explore at this event. We look forward to discussing these efforts publicly when they are further developed,” a Mozilla spokesperson said, according to Engadget.

Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are all working on their own voice assistants with varying successes. It makes a lot of sense that Mozilla would try to join in the AI voice assistant race in some form or another. The non-profit organization already has more than a decade’s worth of experience when it comes to web services, so adding voice commands to a web browser would be something that’s relatively simpler than actually making a standalone smart speaker.

The strategy to create a voice-activated web browser could also help Mozilla further grow its user base and remain relevant in the world of web browsers. Mozilla continues to struggle with Google Chrome, which currently accounts for 58 percent of web usage. In comparison, Firefox only has five percent, according to StatCounter.

Mozilla continues to stay competitive with the Quantum versions of its Firefox web browser. The first version of Firefox Quantum was released in November and is touted as being “over twice as fast” as the older version of the browser. Work continues on Firefox Quantum and it’s expected to bring in more changes and improvements in future updates.

Mozilla Firefox Mozilla is working on a voice-activated web browser called Scout. Photo: REUTERS/Albert Gea