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Google Software Hardware Technology

Google Assistant Coming Soon To More Speakers, Appliances and Other Devices (techcrunch.com) 50

Google announced today several new third-party speakers that will support the Assistant. Their blog post is a follow-up to a post in May where they announced the general availability of the Google Assistant SDK, which lets anyone download and run the Google Assistant on the gadget of their choice. TechCrunch reports: That's likely to be good for both the voice-powered assistant market, as well as for Google's ability to use its service to collect useful data which it can then use to work on its advertising and marketing products. The more places Assistant appears, the more likely it is that people will engage with the voice companion, and that's not territory Google wants to cede to someone like Amazon. Some of the devices getting Google Assistant coming to IFA include the Anker Zolo Mojo, a small cylinder speaker that's sort of like a third-party Google Home, which will go on sale in late October. Two other smart speakers powered by Assistant, including the Panasonic GA10 and the TicHome Mini, are also on their way. Google is also now making it possible to use Assistant to check on the state of your laundry or dishes, using an integration with LG's line of home appliances, which also includes voice commands for LG's Roomba competitor.
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Google Assistant Coming Soon To More Speakers, Appliances and Other Devices

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  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @07:40PM (#55113943)

    At this point in time, I wish Google would show some real love to its apps like...

    Photos - Introduce [meaningful] sorting. Let's be able to at least sort video from photos...

    Gmail - Move its interface presentation changes from requiring an extension to having this setting by default.

    YouTube - Why should I lose sight of my video while scrolling through comments on the desktop version?

    Calendar - Why can't I copy an event from place to place?

    Google, are these thing so difficult to implement?

    • by Reverend Green ( 4973045 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:37AM (#55114993)

      It's not about technical difficulty, it's about the will to do it Google just doesn't care about users - because the users are NOT the customers.

      What Google does care a great deal about it's snooping on users every possible way. That's what the real customers pay for.

    • by Nexus7 ( 2919 )

      Given what those "apps" already do, the features you want aren't difficult to add, but it doesn't appear that they care what the users want. Other posters already said that, but I want to add that this is true of the Google Assistant itself. The OK Google thing used to be easier to use. For example, "OK Google, fastest way to work" and it'd say "here it is", or "so many minutes, etc. Now it silently brings up the map and directions silently, forcing you to keep looking at it.

      Also, it never works from the p

  • No. Just no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @08:00PM (#55114021)

    I will not voluntarily have something in my home that constantly spies on me and reports to somebody else. I don't care whether it's the government, some corporation or whatever. The only way they would have my best interests at heart would be on those rare occasions when mine and theirs were congruent .

    So no. No. Fuck no. I will not put up with it.

    What's ironic is that the flagging PC industry could be revived by a totally locked down, totally secure "personal assistant" like some kind of next-generation Siri. The kind of power needed to run something like that would mean there might finally be a need to get busy on quantum computing for upper middle class families.

    Sadly, there's not much chance of it happening. Real power and independence in the hands of a lot of reasonably tech savvy people is the last thing our lords and masters want. They don't care about guns. In the end, a bunch of militia crackpots armed to the teeth would last about five minutes against the armed forces. Independent citizens with minds of their own and the ability to act pretty much like tiny versions of todays multi-national corporations...now that my friends, is a threat to the power structure.

    • Re:No. Just no. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @08:22PM (#55114097)

      >"I will not voluntarily have something in my home that constantly spies on me and reports to somebody else. "

      +1,000 !

      I don't want a washing machine, toaster, dryer, security camera, doorbell, iron, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, lock, toilet, garage door opener, thermostat, microwave oven, car, gun, or cat toy connected to the Internet to some "service". ESPECIALLY one that connects in a way I have absolutely no assurance that I can block or turn off. And that is an opinion coming from someone who LOVES technology- always has and always will. But I want things that *I ABSOLUTELY CONTROL* not some third party.

      "IOT" is scary stuff, and not just based on theory, based on actual experience and fact. I don't want my stuff bricked by sloppy and botched forced "updates". I don't want my stuff changing without my consent into something that doesn't do what I bought it for in the first place. I don't want my stuff hacked. I don't want my stuff reporting my "preferences" or activities to some entity. I don't want my stuff to stop working when some company goes out of business or when my Internet connection goes down. I don't want my stuff suddenly telling me what I should not do- or worse, can't do.

      Do you?

    • Re:No. Just no. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @08:58PM (#55114185)

      I will not voluntarily have something in my home that constantly spies on me and reports to somebody else.

      So then no cellphone?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Sometimes smart phone and sometimes a piece of dead electronics with the battery removed. I am serious about being able to remove that battery. Checked with Samsung first question I asked, which phones have a removable battery, their response, they no longer have a product with a removable battery and I simply hung up. So the only product in my home with a battery and microphone is a smart phone and it spends more time in another room or switched off, than it does with me. I use that smart phone, that smart

        • If you happen to catch my response to this guy, you'll notice that we're pretty much the same. I can't take the battery right out, but all my location stuff is turned off. So is the phone, for that matter. Not that it would have much luck spying on me from the glove box out in the car.

          When I'm out, I would leave it in the garage if I cared that it could give away my location.

          • You can't turn off the location tracking. All you can do is ask the OS - which you absolutely do not control - to please turn off the location tracking. There is no way to tell if the OS has indeed obeyed your request.

            Physical disconnection of the battery is the only real control a user has over a smartphone.

            • I'm aware of that. But Apple has either been getting away with clandestine tracking for years, or they truly do quit tracking when asked to do so (beyond what's inescapable due to the very nature of cell phones). Anything beyond a dot on the map isn't going to happen without data transfer, and that very definitely is discoverable.

      • I have an old iPhone 4S with no data plan and location services turned off. No apps except a book reader and a couple of other things, all with privacy maximized. A $100 pay-as-you-go card is good for a year, and I've never yet used one up.

        Also, the phone spends so much time completely turned off I only have to charge it about once a week...probably less, actually. When I'm home, you reach me by land line or not at all.

        So no, I don't get spied on a lot by my phone...certainly not when I'm at home. Is th

    • I will not voluntarily have something in my home that constantly spies on me and reports to somebody else.

      Do what you like, but you should at least understand what the devices do/don't do. None of the devices currently on the market do what you describe. It's pretty easy to tell that just by watching their network traffic. What they do is to listen constantly for a hotword, using local recognition circuits only. When the hotword is detected, then they start actually listening for your command. I suspect that Google's at least, primarily does command recognition locally, though it also ships a copy of the comman

      • I understand what you're saying, and recognize that you and others may find this useful. I am, however, unconvinced that devices that wake up only for a "hot word" will always be devices that wake up only for a "hot word". The lure of all that lovely, profitable private information is just too strong.

        Look at how sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have become increasingly aggressive in their data collection. I suspect that as you become accustomed to the functions you mention, you will be asked to give up m

        • The lure of all that lovely, profitable private information is just too strong.

          No, it's really not. Why? Because if the devices started listening to everything, not just hotword-prefixed commands, it would be found out. I think the makers of the current devices all have enough integrity (and oversight) that they'd tell us rather than wait for it to be discovered. But it would be discovered. And it would drive users away in droves. It would drive me away... and I already run almost everything I do through Google's servers. But listening in on conversations in my home? That's way, way

          • You think Google has integrity? Wow.

            • You think Google has integrity? Wow.

              Quite a lot of it, actually. And I have a good vantage point from which to see it, since I work for Google.

              • Somehow I figured that. In my limited experience, googlers tend to have an imaginatively high opinion of their employer. I suppose that must be mandatory.

                The rest of us have come to realize Google is creepy, snoopy, intrusive, monopolistic, progressive, financialist, and generally not to be trusted.

                • In my limited experience, googlers tend to have an imaginatively high opinion of their employer. I suppose that must be mandatory.

                  Not mandatory, but the company is very open internally and people take questions of user good and user privacy very seriously. Googlers have a high opinion because we see what really goes on.

                  The rest of us have come to realize Google is creepy, snoopy, intrusive, monopolistic, progressive, financialist, and generally not to be trusted.

                  And 95% of that opinion arises from erroneous assumptions about what Google does, and why, rather than from reality.

                  • Hahahaha - "very open internally" - riiiiiiight.

                    • Hahahaha - "very open internally" - riiiiiiight.

                      It is. Extraordinarily so... though less than it was a few years ago, sadly. Mostly because of leaks.

                      Some examples: There are weekly whole-company meetings in which anyone can question the CEOs, and people can and do ask hard questions -- and get answers. There are regular meetings do discuss in depth various legal issues that Google finds itself in, and where employees can again question the attorneys. The various crucial sensitive subteams -- like the privacy teams -- regularly hold office hours in whic

          • My friend, you might want to hop over to this Slashdot summary on Uber's latest efforts to "secure your privacy" (there's never a sarcasm emoji around when you need one).

            https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/08/30/220211/uber-says-itll-stop-tracking-riders-after-theyre-dropped-off

            Uber has been caught more than once abusing their clients' privacy, yet they're still incredibly popular, and will probably remain so. I might have installed the app myself if I didn't already have so many friends using it. Our local

            • My friend, you might want to hop over to this Slashdot summary on Uber's latest efforts to "secure your privacy" (there's never a sarcasm emoji around when you need one).

              https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/08/30/220211/uber-says-itll-stop-tracking-riders-after-theyre-dropped-off

              Meh. You may (probably do) feel differently about it, but I don't care so much about location tracking. I intentionally have Google's location tracking turned on, and even regularly go into Google Maps to check my location timeline and fill in any locations it's unsure about. I find the location timeline to be quite useful on a regular basis.

              Listening in my home is different. To me, at least.

              • It is different, no question. I have certainly made use of Google Maps. My GPS is generally better suited to my travel needs, though. And my home entertainment situation is simple and direct.

                Just as an example of different solutions to similar problems, though, I'll tell you what I find preferable to location tracking (especially the history part). When I travel, I like to spend a few minutes at the end of each day writing a summary of what we did and where we went. Along with photos, I have found over

                • When I travel, I like to spend a few minutes at the end of each day writing a summary of what we did and where we went.

                  Heh. I'm way too disorganized and inconsistent to do that. Luckily, most of my interesting travel is with my wife, and she's good about it.

                  I like having the location history just for day-to-day stuff.

    • This. I have yet to need an "assistant", even this many years after Siri has come out. What an "assistant" really means is not just a device listening 24/7, but something actively and constantly sending that info to the mother ship. Does this benefit me? No.

      After working with VCs last year, there are only two companies they give a shit about funding. Those that sling ads, and those that suck data. Anything else, they don't care about. The Meitu app did the second part, and look how much it got fundin

  • If it's the soothing voice, I don't want a personal relationship with my machinery.

    If I want to search for or order something, I already can. I don't need to speak out loud as I actually type as fast as I can speak and someone else in the room can't enter anything, making eavesdropping impossible.
  • all these assistants should be available from all these terminals by use of their separate wake-up phrases ("ok, google", "hey Siri", "alexa", etc)

  • ...when my Amazon Echo went down for a week (router swap, I'm lazy sometimes) I felt relieved and at peace. I thought about it and decided her voice lacks some human quality that grates on the mind over time. And the fact that commands have to be repeated or she doesn't understand is frustrating. Since the things asked of her are not really vital, why put up with that? I use her much less now and it is better for that. I suggest it would be the same with any computer generated voice.
  • With Google engaged in an all out war against wrongthink and the type of freedoms the 1st amendment was designed to protect, I don't give a shit about Google's products no matter how clever. I'm sure they'll be popular with SJW retards however.

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