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Google Home updated to give personal assistance to six different people

Posted: 25 April 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Google has updates its Google Home smart speaker service to able to take commands and provide personalised responses for up to six people.

The new feature, one which has been regularly requested to the company since it launched in the US last November. It has only recently gone on sale in the UK.

The update, which is being rolled out in the US now and in the UK in the coming months, allows it to be trained to understands up to six different people – the voices of whom will be learnt and recognised every time a ‘Hey Google’ or ‘OK Google’ command is given, followed by a question.

Separate profiles are created for each individual user to provide more tailored responses, by building up a history of knowledge to that individual. This includes the ability to provide details of their schedule for the day, diary dates, reminders, music tastes, news interest, sporting results amongst others.

Google Home is a natural rival to the Amazon Echo, which arrived in the US back in June 2015 (UK September 2016).

According to forecasts from VoiceLabs.co, both the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers will account for more than 24 million unit sales combined by the end of 2017. More than 8 million Amazon Echo speakers had been sold as of February this year, according to Tech.co

 

Instructions from Google:

‘To get started, first make sure that you have the latest Google Home app. Then, look for a card that says ”multi-user is available” when you open the app. If you don’t see a card, click on the icon in the top right to see all of your connected devices. Once you see your Google Home in the list, select “Link your account.” From there, you’ll teach your Assistant to understand it’s you, not your partner, family member or roommate—and vice versa, based on who’s speaking. For certain features, like personalised music and commute, you’ll also need to set up your preferences within the app.

multi-user

So how does it work? When you connect your account on a Google Home, we ask you to say the phrases “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” two times each. Those phrases are then analysed by a neural network, which can detect certain characteristics of a person’s voice. From that point on, any time you say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so it can understand if it’s you speaking or not. This comparison takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.’

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