As far as Google is concerned, there's no place like home.
Ahead of its I/O Developer conference next week, Google announced that its artificial-intelligence-fused Google Assistant is now connected to more than 5,000 devices in the home, up from 1,500 in January.
The idea is that you'll be able to summon the Google Assistant and issue voice commands, to preheat the oven, see who is at your front door, or dim the lights. The list of cloud-connected smart home products where the Google Assistant has an increased presence includes cameras, thermostats, security systems, vacuums, washers, and air conditioners.
Of course, with the smart home rapidly emerging as one of the next key battlegrounds for tech, this very same vision is being laid out by Amazon with Alexa, Apple through HomeKit and Siri, Microsoft with Cortana, and Samsung via SmartThings and Bixby.
All these companies still must persuade consumers that they need to buy a connected washer, AC or even smart bulbs, not the easiest task.
Setting up myriad smart home devices is still more complicated than it needs to be.
And the public may also understandably be reluctant to have the biggest tech companies compile yet more information on their daily life.
Google's vice president for product and design for the Google Assistant, Nick Fox, says that Google doesn't share Google Assistant data with partners or advertisers.
But Google Assistant queries are treated like search queries, so they may be used to influence the ads you see.
Google announced that the Google Assistant will turn up on Dish Hopper set-top boxes later this month, and listed numerous other partners that will add or expand the Assistant, a roster that includes Logitech Harmony remote controls, smart lights from ADT, Xiaomi, and IKEA, window treatments from Hunter Douglas, air conditioners and humidifiers from Hisense, televisions and other appliances from LG, and security cameras, alarms and door locks, from Arlo, ADT, First Alert, Vivint, August, Schlage, and Panasonic.
It is very likely Google will make other announcements around its AI-assistant during the I/O conference next week.
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