Thursday March 21, 2019
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Google Home To Be Your Best Friend Now

Here is "Google Home", your true best friend for life.

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Google deepens partnership with Facebook on AI tech, Pixabay

“OK Google, wake me up at 8 a.m. and book an appointment with the hair stylist at 10 a.m.,” went the instruction to Google Home — the voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant.

“Sure, your alarm is set for 8 a.m. and the appointment has been fixed for 10 a.m.,” came the instant reply from Google Assistant — the new lady in my home who, according to senior company executives, has received over 4.5 lakh marriage proposals from India.

Following the launch of “Amazon Echo” smart speaker in India last year, Google has now brought its “Home” speaker range to the country.

Google home device.
Google Home.

Google Home and Home Mini speakers — priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively — can help people with their commute, play their favourite songs and videos, plan their daily schedule and lots more.

Let’s see how Google Home fares in the Indian context.

The speaker is capable of understanding the thick Indian accent thanks to two microphones on either side of the LED lights that light up when the device recognises the opening “OK Google” voice command.

The two microphones utilise the neural beam forming technique to enable accurate voice recognition.

The curves of the device resemble a wine glass. The lower part holds the speakers and the upper part is the main body with the touch-sensitive top.

When the volume is increased or decreased, the device responds with the shimmering ivory-coloured light ring.

Google has trained the Assistant in English and has promised Hindi support later this year.

“Play ‘Firestone’ by KYGO,” went another voice command and lo! the device checked the Google Play music subscription — the company is giving six-month free Google Play music subscription when you buy the device — and instantly played the song.

Also Read: Google AI can focus on individual speakers in a crowd

The device also works with music streaming platforms like Saavn and Gaana. The music output was good for a medium-sized room.

“OK, Google, play Arijit Singh songs.” She returned with the hit number “Enna sona kyun rab ne banaya”.

If you want to chat or listen to her in an another room, pair another Home device or a Bluetooth speaker with Chromecast support. Another option is to attach a Chromecast Audio device to a speaker.

Google Assistant told us the correct score of Delhi Daredevils while it chased the Mumbai Indians’ total in one of the IPL matches.

However, to a question on happenings in Syria, she played a 30-second news bulletin from BBC News.

The Google's logo
The logo of Google. Pixabay

Google has simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied Machine Learning (ML) to recognise patterns that allow it to filter and separate speech from noise.

Google Assistant understands several languages and can translates sentences into Spanish, French and more.

Not only multimedia, Google Home can also control smart devices such as connected Internet of Things (IoT) device “Philips Hue” in your drawing room.

We set up Google Home to control a light bulb which was connected via “Philips Hue”. We asked the device to dim, turn off and turn on the light and got the desired results.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

What didn’t work?

While playing music, Google Home at times did not receive the command in one go. We had to raise our voice twice or sometimes thrice to get the command through the noisy environment.

One important takeaway: Never keep your Google Assistant-enabled smartphone near Home device as the voice command does wake up Assistant in the smartphone too and could ruin the whole experience.

Conclusion: At this price point, Google Home is a good choice as it saves time while performing some key daily tasks for you. It is not the replacement of your better half yet, but does help you with daily chores. Take it home.  IANS

Next Story

‘Inbox’ App by Google Shutting Down in April

Earlier this week, Google said it is going to close Google+ in the coming months, seven years after it was launched as a social networking site of its own name brand

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google is shutting down on April 2 its email app “Inbox” that gave users options like advanced filtering, message snoozing and more visual organisation.

The search engine giant first hinted at bringing the app to an end last year, but it was not until recently that the users started seeing a more specific shutdown date, GSMArena.com reported on Tuesday.

“‘Inbox’ is shutting down. We are saying goodbye to ‘Inbox’ at the end of March 2019. While we were here, we found a new way to email with ideas like snooze, nudges, smart reply and more. That’s why we have brought your favourite features to Gmail to help you get more done,” reads the desktop message that pops up while logging into “Inbox”.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

However, an iOS-only email client named “Spark” will be launched for Android right around the time Google retires “Inbox”.

“This, according to the tweets it has been replying to Inbox users on Twitter. Perhaps ‘Spark’ will be able to fill a void that will be left by ‘Inbox’,” the report said.

Also Read- Micro-blogging Site Twitter to Audit Developers Using Data From App

Earlier this week, Google said it is going to close Google+ in the coming months, seven years after it was launched as a social networking site of its own name brand. (IANS)