Google Assistant Explainer – When it comes to controlling smart devices like lights and thermostats with voice commands, bulletproof biometric security might not be high on your wish list — especially if verifying your identity is going to cut it. But Google Assistant has voice-based security that works without sacrificing convenience.
Google Assistant’s feature, Voice Match, can recognize the voices of up to six different people. Thus, once it has been taught to each person’s voice, it allows people to ask a similar Google or Nest device, like the Nest Hub Max, about calendar events, and receive an answer that suits them. The system also works with all smart speakers compatible with Google Assistant.
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Google admits the technology isn’t completely secure, as recordings of your voice can be used to access personal information held by Assistant. But it’s a step in the right direction, towards a smart home that will finally know who you are, and be as convenient and personal as it is secure.
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Here, we look at what Voice Match is, how it works, and what it can (and can’t) do.
By default, Google Assistant on devices like Google and Nest smart speakers and displays will respond the same way, regardless of who you’re talking to. This is great for controlling most smart home devices, so that every member of the household can interact with them, but when asking Assistant for personal information, some additional setup is required.
This is where Voice Match comes in, which can be set up when building a smart home controlled by Google Assistant, or later through the Google Home app.
After you teach Google Voice Match what your voice sounds like, Assistant will give you personalized answers when you ask about calendar reminders, or request a music playlist.
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Voice Match can teach the voices of up to six different people. This means that everyone in the household will be recognized when talking to the Nest Hub Max in the kitchen, for example, and will only be presented with calendar events when they ask.
When one of these people talks to Assistant, their Google profile picture will show up on the Nest Hub smart display, indicating that Assistant already knows who’s talking.
If someone else is talking to the Assistant, the profile picture won’t appear. If he asks to adjust the lighting, for example, the Assistant will work as usual. But if they ask for calendar events or other personal information, the Assistant won’t answer, because it doesn’t know who the person is, so it won’t share any personal information. You can easily try this yourself; speak to an Assistant with a different accent than yours, and requests for personal information will be rejected.
Voice Match is offered when you first set up Nest or Google Home, but can be set up later through the Google Home app, even if you’re setting up a new device. To set up or edit a Voice Match, follow these instructions:
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Here you can set up Voice Match for the first time, or teach your voice again (if you think the Assistant failed to recognize you), and see which devices on your network are using Voice Match.
Here you can also invite other people to set up Voice Match. That way, other members of the family or household can set up Voice Match through their own Google account, then talk to the Assistant (on the device they’re using, like the Nest Hub) and get personalized answers.
Now, when everyone asks the Assistant on the same device for the same information (traffic for commuting, for example) the person will be recognized and given a personalized answer for them.
Until now, training Assistant meant saying “Hi Google” several times when prompted. But now, the app asks you to recite some of the commands you’d normally use with Assistant. Thus, Google says, artificial intelligence can better understand you, and more reliably distinguish each member of the household.
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When teaching Assistant your voice, a “unique voice model” is created, Google says. This model is created using Google servers, but is only stored on devices that have Voice Match turned on (like the Nest Hub in the kitchen that the whole family uses, for example).
When someone talks to the device, a record of what they say, as well as the stored voice model, is sent to Google’s servers “to process the query and determine who you are by comparing the voice model,” the company said. . The recording and voice model are both deleted from Google’s servers “immediately after processing.” In other words, as soon as the Assistant knows who is speaking.
Voice Match is a convenient way for the Assistant to provide personal information when asked, and should prevent other users in your home from seeing or listening to your personal data. However, Google admits that it is not waterproof.
It says: “A voice that sounds like your voice can access personal results, such as sending an email, paying, or viewing your calendar.”
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With Voice Match enabled, using Google Assistant becomes more personal. As well as telling you about your calendar schedule (and allowing you to add new events), Assistant will read your shopping and to-do lists, start a music playlist you’ve created, and tell you about traffic on your journey (if you’ve previously added your office address and home to your Google profile).
If you ask Assistant to control content from a streaming service, like Netflix, it will open the account of anyone who asks, as long as their voice is recognized and they have previously connected their streaming service account to Google using the Google Home app.
Yes, but only if you have access to the pilot program that Google is running. It allows users to authorize in-app digital purchases through Google Play on Android phones, as well as restaurant orders made by speaking to Google Assistant on a smart speaker or display.
Google clearly sees the future for voice authorization, and believes it is safe enough to handle payments without the need for a secondary piece of information, like a PIN, password or biometric data. But the feature is limited in scope and is only the subject of a small user trial right now.
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Never. Smartphones running Android versions 5.0 to 7.1.2 have a feature that says “OK Google” will unlock the phone and open the Assistant, using Voice Match. However, this is no longer possible in the current version of Android.
Check out The , smart home compatibility checker to see other compatible products that work with Google Assistant-enabled devices.
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Google Assistant is a virtual assistant software application developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and home automation devices. Based on artificial intelligence, Google Assistant can talk in two directions,
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Google Assistant debuted in May 2016 as part of the Google Allo messaging app, and the Google Nest voice-activated speaker. After a period of exclusivity on the Google Pixel smartphone, it was distributed to other Android devices from February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear (now Wear OS), and was released as a standalone application on the iOS operating system in May 2017. In addition to announcing the device development kit software in April 2017, Assistant has been expanded to support a variety of devices, including cars and third-party smart home devices. Assistant functionality may also be owned by third-party developers.
Users mainly interact with Google Assistant through natural voice and will respond to “Hey Google” and Google’s big update in 2023 “Lucy”, although keyboard input is also supported. Assistant can answer questions, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user’s device, share information from the user’s Google account, play games, and more. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to recognize objects and collect visual information through the device’s camera, and support the purchase of products and money.
At CES 2018, the first Assistant-powered smart display (Smart speaker with video screen) was announced, which was first released in July 2018.
Google Assistant was announced during the Google developer conference on May 18, 2016, as part of the introduction of the smart speaker Google Nest and the new messaging application Allo; Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained that the Assistant was designed to be a conversational and two-way experience, and “an ambitious experience that transcends all devices”.
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Later that month, Google hired Google Doodle chief Ryan Germick and hired former Pixar animator Emma Coats to develop “a little more personality”.
For system-level integration outside of the Allo and Google Nest apps, the app