Google presented numerous new devices at I/O 2022, including the Pixel 7 smartphones and the new Pixel Tablet. However, an update for the in-house voice assistant Google Assistant went a bit under the radar. It gets new functions, thanks to which you can do without the announcement “Hey Google”.
Google Assistant with new functions
At least on a test basis in the US, owners of a Google Nest Hub Max will be able to enjoy the new Google Assistant functions. They are supposed to make the use of the voice assistant more natural, since you can do without the obligatory “Hey Google” for activation here.
At the same time, the voice assistant should be able to recognize certain questions better and analyze the context independently. New features include the so-called Quick Phrases, which Google has been working on since last year.
These are short, unambiguous commands that can be addressed to the Google Assistant without having to prefix them with the magic activation words. Corresponding commands are recognized as activation words themselves. However, the whole thing only works for local commands that do not require a cloud connection.
For example, an alarm clock can be set, all alarms can be deactivated, the time can be announced, the (smart) lighting can be turned on and off, or music can be controlled. Example: With “Turn on the light in the kitchen”, the Google Assistant performs exactly the desired operation, and all without “Hey Google”.
Look and Talk for Google Nest Hub Max
The second new feature for Google Assistant requires the Google Nest Hub Max, which aren’t even available in this country. Nevertheless, the feature, which was presented at Google I/O 2022, shows quite well what is theoretically possible in the future.
The smart speaker, which is equipped with a camera, recognizes when you look at it and then performs all actions without you having to say the activation words. In the long run, Google wants to make its voice assistant smarter so that it will recognize exactly and automatically when it is meant. However, there is still a long way to go until then.