The latest development from Google is a new product/service called Google Home. In essence, Google Home allows people to connect with services or products or information in a seamless way through talking. With all the new advances in digital communication, it’s refreshing to see a product relying on the more old-fashioned method of talking.
Google Home uses a wifi speaker to connect people with products or services. The person simply asks a question (e.g. how big is Snoopy’s doghouse?) or makes a request (e.g. turn on the light in the bedroom) around the speaker. It’s supposed to be an all-purpose personal assistant ready to help anyone, located anywhere, in the home through voice-activated commands. Improved technology combined with the latest efforts in artificial intelligence have generated a lot of interest. Amazon Echo, a similar product, has been on the market for some months already with a lot of positive response.
I’ve been utilizing the voice-activated features more on my phone lately. I do find it a nice alternative to using the tiny smartphone keyboard, but I’ve noticed that I have to check the transcribed messages carefully. Sometimes words don’t get translated accurately and when I verbally command punctuation, the word “comma” gets written instead of the “,”. As a result, I’ve had to slow down to check and see that each word gets transcribed properly which kind of defeats the purpose of using it.
While I can see where/how it would be beneficial to use my voice to request/ask things, mistakes aside, I have to wonder what it means to use a service like this. How interconnected would Google Home be with my personal items? For example, would it need access to my photos? How connected would my information be through Google Home be to the rest of the world? How much of my home would be connected through Google Home?
With this last question, I always have to wonder about silly things like power outages, spotty internet service, and maintenance. It happens and I would hate to think I couldn’t use anything in my house because it was all interconnected through a hub using wifi when internet service goes down, or because of a system malfunction. Or what happens if Google decides to discontinue Google Home in the coming years? What happens to customers who have become reliant on the service?