Yesterday, Google announced a major software update for its Home smart wireless speaker that enables it to support and distinguish up to six separate users, with each person receiving their own personalized results. Powered by Google Assistant, the wireless speaker can now distinguish your voice from others, a feature TIME claims Amazon’s been developing in secrecy for its Echo family of smart devices.

After each person links their own Google account on the most up-to-date version of the Google Home app, they must train the system by saying “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” when prompted. Only then will the wireless speaker be able to distinguish between each person by the sound of their voice.

As a result, every user of the device receives their own personalized content and results, including the usual stuff like news, music, scheduling, commute times and so on.

The search company describes Home’s on-the-fly audio/voice analysis:

Any time you say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so we can understand if it’s you speaking or not. This comparison takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.

The software update began rolling out yesterday for Google Home users in the U.S. and will expand to the U.K. in the coming months.

Here’s Google’s promo video for the feature.

Admittedly, being able to distinguish one person’s voice from another person’s voice definitely turns Home into a family-friendly device and I have no doubt in my mind that Amazon Echo devices will soon support that same capability.

It’s unclear if Apple is working on a similar feature for Siri, but I know this—the ability to recognize multiple voices would be especially useful for owners of the Apple TV set-top box.

Source: Google

  • Jack Smith

    This shows the difference between the Echo and the Google Home (GH). The GH is intelligent and functions more like a human would and the Echo is a computer and functions similar.

    So accounts on the Echo you use a passcode versus the GH you talk to it and it know who you are.

    If kids are not allowed to turn down the thermostat then no passcode or anything like that but instead will now lower for kids but will for you and your wife.

    Of say guest can not turn down the hot tub but you, wife and kids can. Then no awkward passcodes that can be overheard, etc.

    Everything is like this with the Echo versus the GH. You have a list of commands that you memorize with the Echo and then have to use. So there is a command that is “song goes like …”. With the GH there is no commands and instead you just talk to it with whatever you have. So say play “Sheeran Grammys” and you get Ed Sheeran performance at the 2017 Grammys.

    Have zero idea why the two are compared because really they are fundamentally different.

  • Stefano Polo

    it’d be great if they could also update it so that you have the option to set it up to only allow your own voice to utilize it. If I’m not mistaken, echo is set up that way.

  • We stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might check things out.I like what I see, so I am just following you.Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.