The Google I/O 2016 Keynote presentation was nothing short of impressive. Arguably the best part was the announcement of the Google Assistant, which, after watching this keynote, might sway Apple users to leave Siri in the dust and move on over to Google.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai led the Google Assistant section of the keynote and revealed during that now over 20% of the queries searched on Google are voice searches and every day Google translates over 140 billion words. Google has the right idea to hone in on the voice aspect of their products.
The major focus of the Google Assistant section of the Keynote was on the conversational dialogue between the user and the program. Pichai demonstrates the ease of use by initiating the Assistant with the words “Hey, Google, what’s playing tonight?” The A.I. knows you mean that you’re interested in movie showtimes, so it pops up with a few of the closest listings. From there he continues to say “We want to bring the kids this time.” Which then prompts the Assistant to narrow down the choices to family friendly films, and even goes further by allowing you to purchase tickets right then and there. When Pichai asks “Is it any good” the Assistant pops up a list of reviews available to browse.
All of this back and forth with the Google Assistant is done hands-free. It doesn’t seem like such a task to simply hold down the home button on the iPhone for Siri to pop up and ask her a question; but attempting to have a back and forth “conversation” can be a little stilted. The flow of conversation appears that it is going to be a decent upgrade from what most are experiencing on their iOS devices.
The implementation of the Assistant with their new Google Home product is also an attention grabber as now it’s not just talking to your phone, but controlling your house. This is where Google really takes it to the next level. They thought “Yeah, we can make this aspect of the phone great. But what can we make this phone interact with?” The results look as though they are going to be way above par. The Google Home speaker is a sleek looking piece of machinery and it definitely has the potential to seamlessly slide into your everyday life. Which at the end of the day, is exactly how we want our electronics to function.
From the keynote it looks as though the Google Assistant is going to end up being incorporated into many aspects of Google products and will be what ties them all together. While it’s not out in the wild yet, if you would pit the Google Assistant and Siri up against one another it appears as though the Assistant would win this fight with both hands behind its’ back. This keynote was an exciting jump-off for the future of these hands-free Google products.