Google Assistant – Digital Butler
Last week Google announced that the company partnered with Anker, Mobvoi, and Panasonic creating speakers that are powered with Google Assistant. The same agreement was made with LG featuring the installation of Google Assistant into home appliances.
The models and makes of the appliances hasn’t been specified yet. But LG is making vacuum cleaners (robot vacuums including), fridges, various kitchen appliances, smart bulbs and TV sets. Installing Google Assistant into the smart TV is the easiest part of the project. Other appliances are expected to be overhauled to get the interactive speaker aboard. Until this moment the gadgets are likely to be controlled via Google Assistant on a smartphone or via the Google Home interactive speaker.
With any success, we’ll be able to voice control our homes in a couple of years. Google leaves the door open for other appliance makers, so I guess, voice control is going to become a must-have for any home or kitchen gadget. In other words, voice control is a new ‘touch’. Soon the minimalistic looking cubes and columns that are quietly set in corners are going to replace remote controls and touch screens.
Meanwhile, Google is enhancing the line-up of the interactive speakers that are compatible with Google Home. For this ambitious project, Google has partnered with Panasonic, Mobivoi and Anker. All three are famous for the high class audio they produce. The interactive speakers are rolling out later this year or early 2018. So you can’t put them on your Christmas wish list just yet.
Anker hasn’t revealed the look and design of the smart assistant yet, so the only two models we can observe are those of Mobivoi and Panasonic.
The Mobivoi TicHome Mini is an interactive speaker, small, portable and long-living. A leather strap and the IPX6 splash protection means you can take the speaker with your around your home wherever you go. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, it doesn’t matter, the only limit is your Wi-Fi network coverage. The TicHome Mini supports Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.2 (to connect peripheral devices). You can’t use it with mobile networks, though. The speaker lives for 6 hours on one charge with its 2600mAh battery.
So far, the Mobivoi TicHome Mini is the only Google Assistant speaker that reviewers can get their hands on. This gadget was introduced at the IFA 2017 – the Berlin Tech Show and it will be available soon for pre-order.
Panasonic also revealed the GA10 speaker in Berlin on the day prior to the opening of the IFA show. The interactive speaker by Japanese engineers was rolled out at a press conference.
The connectivity specific details are still a secret but Panasonic highlighted the superb audio quality of the device. The Panasonic SC-GA10 sound system consists of an eight-centimeter woofer with a dual-voice coil topped by two 20-millimeter tweeters. These tweeters point outwards at a 45-degree angle for an expansive effect.
The Anker Zolo Mojo is the hardest to spot of all the digital assistants. The photo above is the only picture of the gadget available. Anker is famous for its wireless speakers, headphones and smartwatches. Still, there’s no Zolo Mojo in the list of their products yet. As rumor has it, the price for the never-seen interactive speaker is going to be about $89, landing it in the low budget segment.
As for functionality, all the three speakers can do what the Google Assistant can. It can tell news and weather forecasts when asked, search and play music from Spotify, Google Music or iHeart Radio, make notes, set alerts, organize the calendar and control the home smart gadgets. The new interactive speakers are capable of controlling the smart bulbs, thermostats and security systems.
The Google Assistant can’t bring you a Manhattan cocktail yet, so it can’t be really labeled as the digital butler, but it’s very close to becoming one.