Google often makes a large impact on CES with their Assistant offerings and this year they hope it to be no different and have started things off with an announcement of new Assistant features.
The helpful home
Google have come a long way in the process of adding smart devices to your home and have today announced a new feature called Scheduled Actions to arrive later this year. Scheduled Actions will allow you to turn on or off or start/stop a compatible smart device at a time of your choosing.
OK Google, run the coffee maker at 6am
Not only that Google say they will be adding support for more than 20 new types devices such as AC units, air purifiers, bathtubs, coffee makers, vacuums and more.
Full Assistant support will be added to upcoming TVs from TCL, HiSense and Samsung later this year. Of course cars also get a mention with the new Volvo XC40 Recharge getting the full Assistant treatment along with a host of manufacturers of smart displays, speakers, headphones and soundbars from companies such as Acer, Aftershokz, Anker Innovations, Belkin, Cleer, Harman Kardon, Konka, JBL, Lenovo, Philips, Seiki and LG.
Assistant and the smart display
Google are adding household notes to their smart displays. These new digital sticky notes can be seen in one central location, your smart display and can be made using Google Assistant:
Hey Google, leave a note that says I have already fed Ruby
You can also add contacts as a speed dial option to your smart display so that tapping on their name on the smart display will quickly dial that contact. Both of these features will be rolling out later this year.
Better speech technology
Google are always trying to improve their speech technology and today they have announced a new experience that enables natural reading of long-form content. The new experience uses new voice datasets to bring more expressive and natural sounding voices to the experience.
Using the new technology you will be able to ask Assistant on your smart phone to read aloud a web page for example when you are reading an article. At this stage 42 languages are supported and Google are looking to implement auto-scroll and text highlighting in future updates.
Google also announced two new commands to control your privacy settings furthers. You can ask Assistant to forget what you just said by saying: “OK Google, that wasn’t for you”. To check what Google is saving on you you can also ask your Assistant “Hey Google, are you saving my data”.
These commands along with others such as “How do you keep my information private?” and “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week” show that Google are taking people’s privacy concerns seriously.
This looks set to be another big year for Google Assistant. What do you want to see Google Assistant be able to do?