Google is paving way to something that should definitely make the Google Assistant a lot more utilitarian: it will now permit other companies to bring out custom commands when the Assistant is installed into their products. So the manufacturer of a smart dishwasher that makes use of Google’s voice assistant could put in a command to “start a hyper cycle,” even if it is not a worldwide feature found on other dishwashers.
Now, devices that have built-in Assistant are restricted to a few universal commands that Google has created on its own e.g. “on,” “off,” and “dim.” Owners if they so wish could add extra functions through Actions which are basically apps though a further step is needed when they wish to use it. Attempting to create a more advanced product is cearly constrictive. Google hopes that passing on few of the work to manufacturers, it will make Assistant easy to adjust and also more useful.
Google proposes, for example, that an oven producer may use this ability to program voice commands for certain settings like “set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees.” In a way, Google could make it so that every oven could use the same controls. In another way, a producer that intends to make Assistant more useful can increase the functions providing for more voice commands than the standard commands of Google.
LG appears to be capitalizing on this. Formerly, one had to invoke an Action by saying “talk to LG” before issuing a command, now you could just say what you want LG’s connected appliance to do. It’s a lot faster and a more normal interaction.
More exciting is the quirkier devices that this will enable. Google built a robotic arm that sorts socks and replies voice commands to show its commitment to letting the Assistant do anything a developer codes in.
Adding to opening up Assistant to custom commands, Google is also announcing a few other features: users will now be able to have certain Assistant Actions send notifications to their phones. Media playback on Actions will also be getting enhanced.