Google Assistant Now Understands Custom Commands for Third-Party Products


The last big Assistant addition is a feature called Custom Device Actions, which allows an Assistant device to use highly specific voice commands.It sounds like it's only for devices with embedded Assistant such as the Nest Cam IQ and the range of smart speakers announced at CES.

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The latest version makes it so that you can subscribe to third-party Actions and get daily push notification updates. Like other audio content on an Android phone, actions using the media response API can be controlled from a phone's lock screen or notifications area. To showcase to the new feature, Google apparently made a laundry sorting robot and beer ordering system, both of which will be on-hand at the company's Assistant Fun House in Austin. The new feature joins Built-in Device Actions, another recent addition to Assistant's development kit, which lets developers specify particular traits on a given device.

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The media response API introduced today allows developers to incorporate things like news briefs, clips from TV shows, and interactive stories, according to a blog post by Google Assistant product managers Brad Abrams and Chris Ramsdale. Custom Device Actions are way to add specific functions to products.

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The Assistant was first rolled out in smartphones and Google Home speakers, but now it is present in many devices such as smoke detectors and alarm clocks. Google uses the example of turning on a connected oven. They will be able to turn off the display and still continue listening to the audio. Earlier, users would say something like, "Ok Google, turn on the oven", now they will be able to give more detailed commands like, "Ok Google, set the oven to convection and preheat to 350-degrees". TV shows like The Daily Show will have segments available for playback and general show information. Some of today's changes include media playback, Assistant-enabled devices, and subscriptions. For instance, you can be notified of news alerts when they happen. Esquire and Forbes are a few websites taking advantage of this new ability.

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