X

New Google Assistant features and updates announced

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google showed off some new innovations and features that could shape the future of Google Assistant.

Google Assistant is already accessible on a variety of devices for both home and mobile use. So the potential applications that it has both for individuals and enterprise users are pretty far reaching. Here’s a bit more about what Google has in store for the Google Assistant in the coming year.

Smart displays

The Google Home and similar products until this point have been mainly speaker based, allowing you to utilize voice commands but not giving you any visuals to work with. But starting later this year, Google Assistant is coming to new smart displays from four companies, including JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony. So if you need to see a video tutorial while you’re in the kitchen, start a video chat, or do something else that requires visual or video capability, those devices can potentially help.

Expanding TV compatibility

Sony

The Google Assistant is already available on select Android TV devices, including Nvidia's SHIELD TV and Sony’s Android TVs. And this year, Google plans to continue rolling out the Assistant to more models like the AirTV Player, Bouygues Telecom, LG U+, TCL, Skyworth, and Xiaomi. Other home control brands like Koehler and Insteon also have new products coming out with Google Assistant functionality for the home.

Optimized headphones

To expand mobile functionality, Google is expanding the range of headphones that will be optimized for Google Assistant use. Jaybird, JBL, LG, and Sony all have these assistant optimized products on the way. Once you pair the headphones to your phone, you can simply touch an earbud to talk to the assistant and request a song change or respond to a text message without having to interact with your phone or device at all.

Expanded auto features

Already compatible with Android Auto, Google Assistant is getting some new features that could help drivers with functions like reserving a parking space with the SpotHero app or ordering a custom drink from Starbucks. Google is also working on integrating the assistant into cars directly so you won’t need a smartphone to access all of these features.

Google Assistant Actions

Google is also introducing a new directory for all the different Actions available for Google Assistant. Actions might include features built by Google along with those from developers and third parties, like working out with Fitbit Coach. So asking for directions from Google Maps and starting a meditation with the third party Headspace app would both be considered Actions. Google says there are now more than a million of these Actions.

Photo credit: Google