Google is demoing new features coming to its Google Assistant at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. ITWC rounded up a few cool features users could look forward to.
Google Assistant Connect
Google is introducing Google Assistant Connect, a developer platform to help manufacturers create peripherals that pair with Assistant. We think that it’s an API that has abstracted functions for developers. At CES 2019, Google showed off some proof of concept products from a number of partners, including an eInk display that showed traffic reports generated by Google Assistant.
More smart homes get smarter
Google will also be branching its Assistant presence to more smart home devices in 2019 through more smart devices and smart TVs.
At CES 2019, it announced that it has already partnered with Sonos, a smart speaker company, to create two new products. The Sonos One and Sonos Beam will use Google Assistant to control all of its functions. Although the smart speakers also support Amazon’s Alexa, the two digital assistants can’t run concurrently, reported Cnet. The new speakers will land sometime in 2019.
On the visual front, Google also wants to integrate the Google Assistant into more smart TVs. A few prominent early-partners include Samsung, Sony, Hisense, Philps, TCL, and Xiaomi. Google notes that several TVs will carry far-field microphones to pick up voice commands from across the room.
Outside of entertainment, Google Assistant will be integrated into smart lights, thermostats, security platforms, water sensors, and outdoor tools like sprinklers.
Deeper integration with Google Maps
Google will be adding more voice commands to Google Maps for more hands-free controls. New voice commands let users share ETA with contacts, auto-punctuate messages, and reply to texts across a wider range of instant-messaging platforms. These commands will also be available on iOS – provided that the Google Assistant is installed through the Apple App Store.
Additionally, upcoming car accessories will improve Google Assistant’s voice command pickup ability. For example, the Anker Roav Bolt car charger has a built-in far-field microphone, which links to the connected smartphone when it’s plugged in. The mic extends the pickup range of Google Assistant beyond that of the phone’s integrated microphone.
More travel help
Google Assistant can already tack itineraries into Google calendar when it detects a flight ticket confirmation in Gmail. Eventually, it will be able to check-in flights using voice commands as well. The new feature will first be available on United Airlines’ domestic flights.
Google Keep, Any.do, Bring! and Todoist will also have expanded functions with Assistant to record additional notes for a trip.
In the coming weeks, the lock screen will display more information when prompted with voice commands. Google Assistant will be able to show traffic reports and schedule reminders without unlocking the phone. Since the information can be potentially sensitive, this feature can be opted out in Settings. This feature is already available on Google’s Pixel phones, and will land in more devices in the coming weeks.
Google will be adding direct translation features to Google Home devices. Once activated with a voice command, Assistant in Interpreter mode can output vocal and printed translations real-time. Enterprise use cases include public services, travel help, and meetings.