Soon You Won't Have To Say 'Hey Google' To Launch Google Assistant

Cesar Mills
March 11, 2018

This decidedly inelegant middle-step is what Google seeks to mitigate with its latest update to the Assistant, giving us a bit more of a natural-language interaction with it when performing such commands with Google Assistant powered devices by third-party manufacturers. Google has worked with a group called Red Paper Heart to make an installation called Talk to Light that acts as a sort of artistic expression of Assistant's new ability. The new support allows Actions to send alerts like "newly added workout, a change in a stock price, or a news alert, right when it happens".

These will be two of several oddities available for users perusal at SXSW where Google will have a "Google Assistant Fun House" ready to roll.

Actions on Google is essentially meant for developers to build integrations for Google's voice assistant. According to a blog post by Google, Assistant Actions will now support "Custom Device Actions".

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Amazon's Alexa may have more "skills" and connect with more services, but when it comes to artificial intelligence smarts, Google Assistant has the competition beat (sorry Siri, it isn't even close). Custom Device Actions are way to add specific functions to products. Basically, this means that Google Assistant users will have access to more audio experiences, including relaxing sound, clips from favorite TV shows, as well as news briefings.

Also starting today, Actions will support media playback and controls on speakers and Android devices. Voice commands can be used to pause or replay media, and a media player will appear on your phone. Google uses the example of turning on a connected oven. Users can turn off the phone screen and still listen to the audio.

An example the company cites is the distinction between a general instruction that goes "Turn on the oven" and the more specific "Set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees". Esquire and Forbes are some of the websites that have added the new functionality.

Other reports by GizPress

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