The Importance of “Google Assistant” and “Google Home”

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There was a lot of fascinating stuff in the Google presentation this morning, but for me the section of most immediate interest — and that may perhaps be the most important going forward for many persons — related to Google Assistant and in particular the Google Home device for accessing Google Assistant.

True, Amazon has had a similar looking pedestal device around for awhile, but the access device is only the gateway — it’s the cloud/AI/connectivity resources behind it that really matter. And on those scores, Google’s far ahead of everyone else, and is likely to continue evolving much faster as well.

This class of “full room” connectivity isn’t just important for the slick “Star Trek Computer” factor, but for the critical accessibility aids that it could provide for a vast number of people — visually impaired, mobility impaired, on and on.

And this is only the very beginning of this path. Incredibly important.

One last thing for now. A number of people have asked me if the Home device is sending everything they say in a room up to Google. I don’t have specific information regarding this device, but I’d very strongly assume that the same operational model is being used as for other Google speech recognition products, where the attention phrase “OK Google” is recognized locally on the device, and only then is audio sent up to the cloud for full analysis (and you have control over what happens to that voice data once it reaches Google as well).

Great work!

–Lauren–
I have consulted to Google, but I am not currently doing so — my opinions expressed here are mine alone.
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2 thoughts on “The Importance of “Google Assistant” and “Google Home””

  1. Any idea if the Google Assistant can act as a hands free speaker for my phone? Echo cannot, a major disappointment.

    1. I haven’t heard that use case mentioned (which doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t or won’t exist). However, to do that right it seems to me that you’d need something like Bluetooth connectivity, otherwise latency issues would seem problematic unless there were some pretty fancy hooks into the underlying infrastructure — and even then it might not be practical. I’m just speculating about this, of course.

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