Neowin: Dedicated Google Assistant button landing on over 100 million devices this year. “While 5G is all the rage at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), with Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi having announced their respective bets for the next-gen connectivity standard, one feature doesn’t seem to be getting as much attention. Almost all of the phones unveiled on the show floor have a dedicated Google Assistant button.”
Google Blog: Lost in translation? Try interpreter mode with the Google Assistant. “It’s easier than ever to meet new people and explore new places—but language barriers that prevent us from talking to each other still exist. With the Google Assistant, we’re focused on creating the best way to get things done—regardless of who you’re communicating with or what language you speak. To help you connect with people you’re talking to, we recently introduced a new feature called interpreter mode that translates your conversations in real time.”
Wired: Google’s New Interpreter Mode Translates Your Conversation. “…Google is trying to outsource another human-to-human interaction: the kind that occurs between a person who works in hospitality and a guest who speaks a different language. A new feature in Google Assistant, called Interpreter Mode, turns the virtual assistant into a real-time language translator between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space. It starts rolling out today on Google-powered smart displays and smart speakers.”
TechCrunch: Google Assistant is coming to Google Maps today . “We’ve known for a while now that Google Assistant (the company’s voice-powered AI, à la Siri or Alexa) would eventually be built right into Google Maps. They announced as much at Google I/O 2018, noting at the time that they were aiming for a summer launch. It didn’t happen by summer, but Google says it’s happening today. An update should be rolling out shortly, enabling Assistant within Google Maps on both Android and iOS.”
CNET: Google at CES 2019: Everything just announced. “CES, the world’s largest technology conference, is more important to Google than ever as it pushes devices to consumers that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Samsung. At the center of Google’s strategy is the Assistant, an AI-powered digital helper that’s akin to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. It’s available in Android phones, Google Home smart speakers, other smart home devices, and as an app on iPhones.”
File this under “Oh, why not,” from Hackaday: Google Assistant, Now Available On Ham Radio. “Depending on who you talk to, Google Assistant is either a tool capable of quickly and clearly answering audio queries in natural langauge, or a noisier and less useful version of Wolfram Alpha. [William Franzin] decided it would be particularly cool to make the service available over ham radio – and that’s exactly what he did.” Lots of comments.
TechCrunch: GE adds a bunch of Google Assistant-friendly smart home products . “At the Pixel 3 event back in October, the company announced that its C by GE bulbs were the first to carry Made by Google certification with Home functionality built-in right out of the box. At CES this year, the company will show a bunch more products, effectively tripling the size of the C by GE line. In addition to the standard bulbs announced in the fall, the company’s also releasing full color lights with millions of color options, available in a handful of configurations, including a lighting strip.”