Smart “assistants” have been hugely instrumental in changing user behavior when it comes to search and online browsing. In many ways, the introduction of assistants, such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, are what facilitated the rapid explosion of voice search.
As we’ve discussed before here, the majority of teens and adults use voice search on a daily basis, and Google has reported that 20% of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. Again, this is in large part thanks to the development of digital assistants. As a result, it’s opened up a whole new area of competition and opportunity for brands and businesses, and Google is about to have skin in that game.
At Google’s recent developer conference in California, announcements were made that addressed the widespread use of artificial intelligence and the expansion of the Google Assistant to a broader range of devices. Here’s what’s new.
The Google Assistant is about to get a whole lot more powerful. Since the roll out of Google Home a little more than a year ago they’ve expanded the features and capabilities of the Google Assistant to further pull people away from Apple’s assistant, Siri.
Per a Forbes report, the new features include:
- The Google Assistant will accept keyboard input and Voice input on phones.
- The Google Assistant will have Google Lens camera input that can identify objects and let you ask questions about them.
- Google Actions — the thing that lets the Assistant interact with third-party services like Alexa skills — are going to be available on phones.
- You can call any phone number for free in the US and Canada with Google Home.
- There are seventy different smart home manufacturers that will work with Google Home, with an open developer platform to add more.
- Google Home can add calendar events and reminders and other proactivity, and will pulse a light when a reminder is waiting for you.
- Spotify’s free service is coming to Google Home along with Deezer and SoundCloud.
- Third-party hardware makers will be announcing new versions of a Google Home-like device.
- You can also tell Google Home to watch HBO or Hulu on Chromecast on your preferred screen.
- Google Home will be able to send visual search results to the Chromecast or other screens when appropriate, e.g.: see your calendar for the day.
- You can now set reminders and calendar events on Home.
- Google Home is coming to more countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan.
- Google Assistant will work in more languages: Brazilian, Portuguese, French, German, and Japanese. Later this year Google will add Italian, Korean, and Spanish.
In light of these new features and evolving developments to the Google Assistant, you can expect a continued commitment to accuracy and efficiency. The artificial intelligence technology that Google continues to implement into different products and services will likely open up new areas of competition and opportunity for users and businesses alike. In the meantime, it would be wise to keep an eye on these developments as they are likely to advance and change quickly.