Tech Report: Google’s new home voice assistant can make your life easier



SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Google held a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday and showed off a new device for the home that behaves like a personal Google assistant.

Our tech reporter Gabe Slate was there. He gives us a closer look at this new gadget.

Watch the above video to see Gabe’s full report.




1. Meet your Google Assistant
Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. The Google Assistant powers Google Home. Just start with “Ok Google” and it’s ready to help you get things done. Your Google Assistant works across devices — talk to your Assistant through Google Home or the new Pixel phone or chat with your Assistant in Google Allo (our smart messaging app). The more you use your Assistant, the better it gets across devices. It’s like having your own Google, always ready to help. And, of course, as the Google Assistant adds functionality over time, Google Home will automatically update its software so you don’t have to lift a finger while it keeps getting better and better.

2. Experience effortless voice control and high quality audio
Google Home was thoughtfully crafted to deliver amazing sound in a compact form factor. It’s smart audio design includes an integrated high-excursion speaker that delivers crystal-clear highs and rich bass for Hi-Fi sound that streams over WiFi. It can also hear you reliably when you say “Ok Google” — even while playing music — thanks to far-field microphones and Google’s industry-leading natural language processing.

3. Enjoy music, radio, and podcasts
With a simple voice command, play songs, playlists, artists, and albums from your favorite music services like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, and TuneIn with more like iHeartRadio being added soon. Or enjoy radio, podcasts and news. You can also stream audio from your Android or iPhone to Google Home over WiFi from one of 100+ Chromecast-enabled apps.

4. Tap into the power of Google
Get instant answers from Google Search. Ask for things like translations, calculations, nutrition information and unit conversions hands-free. Get the latest weather, traffic, finance, news, sports, local businesses, when you need them most. Or search for other information you’re curious about.

5. Plan your day
With your permission, Google gets to know what matters to you. Easily ask for your travel itinerary, your daily schedule, your traffic to work, and more. With the help of your Assistant, get daily information made for you. Just say, “Tell me about my day” and you’ll get up to speed on things like the weather, your commute, your calendar and a news briefing from a source of your choice.

6. Get help around the house
Google Home lets you get help from your Google Assistant with tasks around the house. All you have to do is ask and it will wake you up in the morning, set multiple timers while you’re cooking, and help you keep track of your shopping list. Today we also shared how partners and developers will be able to build integrations for the Google Assistant, through which partners like Uber and OpenTable will be available through Google Home. Over time, this means more popular services you already know and love will find their way to Google Home.

7. Control Chromecast products & other smart home devices
Use Google Home to voice control speakers that have Chromecast Audio plugged in or Chromecast built-in. Or use Google Home to voice cast content to any TV that has Chromecast plugged in or Chromecast built-in. At launch, you can cast content from YouTube, but we will rapidly grow the ecosystem to support popular Chromecast apps like Netflix and Google Photos in the near future. You can also control your lights, thermostats, and switches from popular home automation systems including Philips Hue, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT with more integrations coming soon.

8. Use Google Home throughout your house
Google Home devices work better together. Enjoy Multi-room by grouping Google Home devices together (with Chromecast Audio or Chromecast built-in speakers too) to listen to the same song in every room. And with more than one device, you don’t need to worry about all of them responding when you say, “Ok Google” — if they have the same user account, all of them will listen but only the closest one will respond.

9. Enjoy a premium YouTube experience
With Google Home, listen to YouTube Music and dip into a pool of endless options. With a vast catalog of music available, you can ask for almost any song — from covers to karaoke — just by using your voice! With Google Home, we’re offering 6 months of YouTube Red for free, so you can enjoy a premium YouTube experience. Listen to official tracks, albums, remixes, live concert footage and more – all completely ad-free.

10. Complement your home with a beautifully designed product
Google Home was designed with a clean top and hidden LED light ring to blend into your home. It has no buttons — just a capacitive touch surface for those rare moments when voice won’t do to change volume, activate your Assistant or control audio, timers, alarms and responses. And you have the option to customize the base with different colors and finishes (metal and fabric) to reflect your home’s style.

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