CES 2020: Google introduces new features for Assistant

At the ongoing CES 2020, Google announced a range of features and new capabilities that it is adding to Google Assistant. The company’s voice-based assistant is available on several devices ranging from smartphones, smart speakers, to TVs, cars, smart displays and more. Google says that Google Assistant is available on more than 1 billion devices and is used by more than 500 million people every month. The list of newly introduced features includes scheduled actions, screen reading, privacy settings and more. Let’s take a look at the features below:

Scheduled Actions:

With the Scheduled Actions feature, users will now be able to set up future tasks with the help of Assistant. Users can simply tell Assistant to turn on/off a compatible smart device. For example, you can say, ‘Hey Google, run the coffee maker at 6am’ and the connected device will perform the task at the mentioned time. 

Screen Reading & Interpreter Mode:

Google previewed this feature at CES which read out long-form content using Google Assistant. Google says that the experience will create expressive and natural surrounding voices by relying on new voice data sets. Additionally, the content can be translated into 42 languages including Hindi, Spanish and German. Google is also said to be working on features like auto-scroll and text highlighting capabilities that helps users follow the text as it is read aloud. 

Google is also expanding Interpreter mode to hotels, airports, sports stadiums, banks and more. The Interpreter mode is a real-time translation feature that helps people to communicate better with others who don’t speak the same language. 

Privacy settings:

Users will be able to access privacy controls via Google Assistant. The Assistant history can be deleted easily by saying, ‘Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week’. Google has also added two new privacy-related voice actions like ‘Hey Google, that wasn’t for you’ and ‘Hey Google, are you saving my audio data?’ The former is used to delete an accidental trigger because of something that is said. The latter is to learn about your privacy controls and change preferences if required. 

Setting up smart devices:

Google aims to make it easier for users to set up smart devices quickly using Google Assistant. Users will get a notification or suggestion button to finish the setup within the Google Home app and connect the device to Assistant. Once the setup is completed, there’s no need to enter your account credentials to use the smart device.

Smart display notes and contact list:

Smart Displays with Google Assistant will be capable of showing household notes on the screen. Users can leave a note on the screen by reading out the content to the smart display. Google says that this feature will help you get rid of sticky notes. 

Just like notes, Google Assistant will enable users to put important contacts on their speed dial on the smart display. This will help anyone at home to quickly and easily make calls on smart speakers and displays. Users can dial the person by saying, ‘Hey Google, call XYZ’. 

Google is expected to roll out all the above mentioned features at some point later this year. The company also says that Google Assistant will be made available on more devices. 

Viraj Gawde

Viraj is a Writer at large and has written on a variety of subjects including tech, finance, travel, and more. Outside work, he is an avid sports fan and loves video games.