The future of Google's smart home starts with a button

CNET | 5/7/2019 | Andrew Gebhart
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Google Home is where the heart is.

Press a standalone button from device maker Anker, and your Google Home smart speaker can start playing Kanye West's latest album. Press another one and you can turn off the lights or have them change color to set the mood. At the Google I/O Developer Conference, the search giant showed off these buttons at a keynote aimed specifically at developers. Anker's new buttons will hit store shelves either later this year or early next.

Buttons - Software - Google - Assistant - Connect

The buttons are powered by software called Google Assistant Connect. Google showed off prototypes of the buttons and first debuted Connect back at CES in January. Now, it's showing off a developer kit for Connect and the button is real. Google Assistant Connect, along with another kit called "Local Home," look to make a Google-powered smart home faster and more versatile.

Google Assistant Connect is a low-cost way of making a device compatible with Google Assistant -- the company's voice activated digital helper similar to Amazon's Alexa. It's a kit that functions as a reference design for developers. Make a device with Google Assistant Connect, and Google takes care of the computing so the developer can focus on making creative hardware.

Buttons - Anker - Voice - Command - Google

The buttons from Anker demonstrate how it works. You can set them up with a voice command to a nearby Google Assistant device -- such as a Google Home Mini smart speaker. The buttons communicate with the Mini over Bluetooth, but Connect works over Wi-Fi as well. Ask your Mini to set up a button, and it searches for one, finds it, then tells you to press it so the two devices can sync.

Once a Google Assistant speaker and the Anker button are synced, you can tell your Google speaker what you want the button to do. You can train the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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