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Google Assistant Can Now Connect to Over 5,000 Devices

Google recently announced support for IKEA lights and Deutsche Telekom's Magenta hub which enables dozens of devices to be controlled by Google Assistant.

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The Google Assistant can now connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home -- up from 1,500 this January, Google has announced.
Google Voice Assistant, Pixabay
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The Google Assistant can now connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home — up from 1,500 this January, Google has announced.

Google Assistant is now powered with over one million “Actions” to connect with home devices.

“That includes cameras, dishwashers, doorbells, dryers, lights, plugs, thermostats, security systems, switches, vacuums, washers, fans, locks, sensors, heaters, AC units, air purifiers, refrigerators, ovens, we can keep on going!” Michele Turner, Director, Smart Home Ecosystem at Google, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Google Assistant is now powered with over one million "Actions" to connect with home devices.
Google on a smartphone device, Pixabay

Google is also adding more popular security alarm brands that will now work with Google Assistant, including ADT, First Alert, and Vivint Smart Home, smart door locks from August and Schlage and home security cameras from Panasonic.

Google recently announced support for IKEA lights and Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta hub which enables dozens of devices to be controlled by Google Assistant.

“Our partners are continuing to add even more devices that work with the Google Assistant across the home in the coming months, including ADT lights and thermostat, Xiaomi lights and new LG appliances, which include everything from air purifiers to TVs,” the post said.

To make Google Assistant better, the company has announced a new investment programme for early-stage startups to build an enhanced digital assistant ecosystem.

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The new initiative will include investment capital from Google to provide additional financial resources for the development, hiring and management of these startups.

Powered by Google Assistant, “Home” and “Home Mini” are priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively, and will be integrated with Hindi language support by the end of this year. (IANS)

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Google Sends Email to Employees Asking Them to Delete China Search Engine Memo

The China search engine would link users' search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo

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Google asks employees to delete China search engine memo: Report. Wikimedia Commons

In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

Authored by a Google engineer familiar with the project, the memo disclosed that the search system would require users in China to log in to perform searches.

Codenamed Dragonfly, the search engine would track the location of users and share the data with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data, said the report on Friday, citing the memo.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

Two weeks after that report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Google employees who were organising internal protests over the censored search system got access to the memo detailing information about the project.

The Google leadership, according to the The Intercept report, were furious when they discovered that the memo was being passed among employees who were not supposed to know about about the Dragonfly project.

Also Read- India Gets Its Sex Offender Registry

The China search engine would link users’ search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo.

This means if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google, individual people could easily be tracked and users seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention. (IANS)