A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Google Home device to play with from JB Hi-Fi. It’s an innocuous looking device which happily sits in the corner of the room and listens for the ‘OK Google’ trigger words and responds via Google Assistant in a similar manner to a modern Android handset.
It has a surprisingly reasonable speaker for a tiny device, and will happily play music via Spotify or Google Play when instructed to.
The fun bit was how excited my six year old son was to finally have Google listen and respond to him as Google Assistant on my phone wilfully ignores him because he doesn’t match the voice print!
He spent the rest of the evening asking Google random questions, and interspersed with instructions to play every song he knew the name of. I woke up the next morning to the sound of him asking Google “Do you have a girlfriend”, followed immediately by “What is your favourite food”. Clearly they’d become good friends!
The device also supports different voice profiles which can be linked to different google accounts, work addresses and associated news casts so that a “OK Google Good Morning” results in a “Good Morning Peter”, followed by the weather report, your itinerary and the news podcasts that you prefer. This obviously excited Mister Six even more once I taught Google his name!
While it’s definitely a luxury purchase, at $199 it won’t break the bank, is quite a bit of fun to play with, and provides a digital expert to children who aren’t yet allowed to use the internet.
There are a bunch of other things that it can control, including TVs and other bits of a smart home but I’ll cover that in another post.