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Devices Supporting Google Assistant Have More Than Tripled In Last Four Months 50

In a blog post on Thursday, Google announced that their smart assistant is now compatible with more than 5,000 devices. That's up from the 1,500 devices it worked with back in January. The Verge reports: According to Google, it's a list made up of a huge variety of products, including "cameras, dishwashers, doorbells, dryers, lights, plugs, thermostats, security systems, switches, vacuums, washers, fans, locks, sensors, heaters, AC units, air purifiers, refrigerators, and ovens." It's a big jump -- at least, numerically speaking -- and if nothing else, it's a sign that the full court press that Google started at the beginning of the year with its massive Google Assistant-themed booth at CES is starting to show some results. For comparison, Apple's Homekit is compatible with 195 products while Amazon's Alexa assistant currently supports over 12,000 devices.
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Devices Supporting Google Assistant Have More Than Tripled In Last Four Months

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  • Still far behind the leading spyware brand.

    • Those who assist others assist themselves? It certainly does assist google at positioning itself as the gatekeeper. And it assists other companies that want to piggyback on the spy ware platform. But yes you can tell your dishwasher to start itself from across the room. You still need to load it yourself.

  • by Shemmie ( 909181 ) on Sunday May 06, 2018 @11:25AM (#56563318)

    Something like a Raspberry Pi image that you install in your home, and it provides remote 'assistant' support for devices outside your home, with all the data stored within your LAN. Like, plug a USB HD into the Pi, and call it a home server. Then using that as the base for home automation.

    That would actually not feel as crappy as all these "we want to suck your data" toys.

    • To do that you would need decent voice recognition software which means you are going to need a multi GHz processor dedicated to the task to support a vocabulary larger than Trump's. SAD! ;)

      • To do that you would need decent voice recognition software which means you are going to need a multi GHz processor dedicated to the task to support a vocabulary larger than Trump's. SAD! ;)

        How much horsepower are we talking about, and does OSS which performs this task parallelize, or do you need single-thread performance?

        • Sphinx4 is the decoder everyone uses, so feel free to read up on it's design. [cmu.edu] It does harness parallel processing but I don't think it uses GPGPU.

          As for running it on a Pi [github.io], you need to limit your vocabulary.

          • As for running it on a Pi, you need to limit your vocabulary.

            I actually want to run it on a Pine A64+ with 2GB...

        • How much horsepower are we talking about, and does OSS which performs this task parallelize, or do you need single-thread performance?

          OSS VR is still way behind proprietary VR. But some pretraining on your own voice may bring them up to the level of Alexa and Siri, since they are designed to recognize anyone with any accent right out of the box.

          Most VR uses NNs, which are inherently parallel. The Raspberry Pi contains the Broadcom VideoCore GPU, which can run OpenCL, so most of the work can be offloaded from the CPU.

      • Why is being able to talk to your appliances so damned important? If you can load the dishwasher, you can also press a button to start it.
        • If you can load the dishwasher, you can also press a button to start it.

          But, the next logical question is "what if you don't want to start it now, but in the morning" (because you don't want to noise to wake anyone up in you tiny apartment, nor your neighbors across the thin walls).
          So most company put a "delay before start" setting (which by itself isn't a stupid idea).

          But that the exact point where things start to roll down hill, because the "delay" implementation might not be that good.
          - It's not intuitive user/friendly (requires weird button completion)
          - It r

        • Don't knock it until you've tried it. Voice controlled lights and outlets are something that came along for the ride when my wife wanted me to step up home security. Its amazing how quickly we became addicted to the convenience.

          Motion & Door sensors and key fobs that turn home security on and off by detecting your presence along with phone apps and voice control really do make your living space nicer.
          • Other than voice control, the key fob and phone control can be done 100% locally or peer-to-peer, without Google, Amazon, or Apple spying on you 24/7/365.

            "Step up security?" I'd just get a large dog, no spying or monitoring required.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Doesn't matter - all of these devices you will use for automation are still going to phone home. Better to just not install them in the first place, until strict privacy regulations are in place with hefty fines for privacy abusers like google and fb.

    • by kzg ( 634262 )
      Mycroft [mycroft.ai] and Hass.io [home-assistant.io] may interest you.
    • There's already lots of voice assitants for Raspi. Additionally the $49 kits also come rolled up with Google AI goodness too if you want them to take advantage of that. The tricky part of this is that the array based microphone technology is pretty important for being able work reliably in a noisey enviroment. So the single microphone raspi hats won't work so well as the array based ones. That's the secret sauce to make it non-frustrating and more of an appliance than just a demo.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There's no goodness in google.

    • I dream of the home-based assistant tech - not just simple word and phrase recognition, but true natural language processing across a wide range of skills and the ability to learn skills through verbal or other interactions. But, there are some very difficult to overcome barriers to it.

      First, we really need advances in AI that allow it to train itself or be trainable with simple expressions of personal preferences, beliefs, etc. A home-based AI assistant must have home-based training to be truly private. We

  • ... the festering infection of spyware as a service in the home is spreading. yay for techbros!
    • said the fool that almost certainly has a cell phone in his home and likely in his pocket.
      Even funnier are those with Ring on their doorbells. They continue to send data to China, even though Amazon bought them.
      • Nope, don't carry my cell phone all the time, phone's in airplane mode at home, and I dropped data, just have voice. Ring and other cloud cam's? Screw that idea and the whores it rode in on.
  • Devices Supporting Google Assistant Have More Than Tripled In Last Four Months

    Devices can't triple because they aren't numbers or numeric quantities. The number of devices can triple. Devices can only do things that devices do, like ring, play music, break, or reboot.

    • The list of devices that support Assist has tripled. In other words, lots of obscure things are on a list, very few of which are out in the field.

    • Devices can't triple because they aren't numbers or numeric quantities.

      Yeah, they’re not like the number of elephants in Africa.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For comparison, Apple's Homekit is compatible with 195 products...

    Which is exactly how apple wants it. I bet 100% of those products are made or licensed by Apple.

    • Apple, as always, only wants the pricey top layer of the market. By the way they have defined themselves they could never become a mainstream product company. The niche-obsessed elite would never stand for that.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      For comparison, Apple's Homekit is compatible with 195 products...

      Which is exactly how apple wants it. I bet 100% of those products are made or licensed by Apple.

      Yes. And to get an Apple HomeKit license means you have to concentrate on security - Apple actually pentests your hardware against common vulnerabilities. Amazon and Google Home have liberal licenses - get as many devices working, who cares if they make it so they're weak on security?

      Even more, HomeKit devices must be able to work offline. Alexa an

  • Google already collects far too much data on everyone. Why would you want them to know where you are at all times, everything about who you are with, what you say and what you watch and listen to?

    James Damore made the mistake of trusting them and they treated him like a heretic. Others have similar stories. They've treated YouTube content authors terribly in many cases. The list of Google misdeeds (or at least questionable actions) grows longer all the time.

    It seems dumb to increase your engagement with

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Heretic? Idiot. Some difference even though you perhaps (being a heretic) not knowing it.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Where were you indoctrinated to believe that every demographic subgroup of humanity has precisely the same likelihood to possess identical talents at every profession? It must take a truly dogmatic faith to believe something that can be so easily disproven.

  • supported by Google, Amazon and the others? That way I'll know exactly what to avoid.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday May 06, 2018 @02:07PM (#56563782)

    Why is this story on apple.slashdot.org? It’s about a Google blog post regarding a Google device.

  • What possible use is having a feature for this for applications like dishwashers, dryers, vacuums, washers, and at least some of the others?

    Even for most of the rest, I'd personally rather wish for a more modular approach (rather than a connected 'refrigerator', how about a camera to put inside my refrigerator that doesn't drag down a thousand dollar appliance when it fails)?

    I could see things like security systems, doorbells (really just more security system), oven (was it left on?), but a lot of this seem

    • What possible use is having a feature for this for applications like [...] vacuums

      I recently got one of the Neato robot vacuums (love it, by the way). I'll occasionally get messages from the vacuum cleaner when I'm at work about how it's stuck.

      I've debated, from time to time, naming the various areas of the house that the vacuum visits in order to be able to instruct it to go to that area and vacuum (e.g, "Go vacuum the front hall" or "Go vacuum the living room"). That could conceivably be useful. I was also debating figuring out how to integrate the room maps that Neato makes with, p

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        On the getting a warning that it's stuck while you are away, the question is what do you do about it? I know that I couldn't say "Oh, I've got to go home, my robot vacuum is stuck". Frankly, it's the sort of scenario that can wait a day.

        Sure, I suppose voice commands to specifically do a specific room could be handy, though I continue to be disappointed that the only way companies are doing this is by going through internet servers, when all parties to the situation are in the same house. Of course for s

      • Better yet, have the washer drum rotate back and forth rapidly to "rearrange" the load. Or limit the spin RPM in that instance to a speed which won't "bang." Why screech about a problem when it can be fixed?

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