The inexorable rollout of Google Assistant is getting a boost for third-party developers today with new features being added to the Google Assistant SDK. The SDK allows developers to add Google Assistant to almost anything with a microphone and speaker such as the AIY Voice project Google released, but it extends to more including speakers and other connected devices.
To start with developers can now target locales and languages, or at least a selection of them with the ability to set locale/language for English (Australia, Canada, UK, US), French (Canada, France), German, and Japanese.
Google says that Developers can now treat third-party devices as first-class citizens allowing them to change the device’s language, location, nickname, all of which allow for personalised results. The ability to set location down to a granular street address, allows for a lot more localisation, including being able to ask Assistant ‘Where’s the nearest servo?’ to locate your nearest petrol station.
The SDK also now allows for support of Device Actions, basically commands you can issue to control a device in your smart home. Developers simply need to allow for parameters for the device ‘On/off’, ‘hot/cold’ etc. and the corresponding client side code and the Assistant can parse the information using Google’s automated speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) to parse the command and allow the action.
Lastly, the Google Assistant SDK now supports text-based queries and responses allowing for more input and output methods, therefore expanding the places the Assistant can be of use.
The proliferation of Assistant is a good thing in terms of usability. The more data Google gets for their machine learning, the better the product seems to get. If you’re a developer you can check out more at the Google Developers page.