Google’s artificially intelligent Assistant – announced to the world at the corporation’s I/O developer conference last May – has already become available to users through the Allo chat app, the Google Home device and the Pixel smartphone. In order to continue reaching a wider audience, it has now been announced that the Assistant is to be featured in upcoming Android TV devices. This is great news for companies such as NVIDIA, which recently announced the collaboration with Google to use the Assistant in its new NVIDIA Shield.
The announcement also spells good news for the Android TV platform, which so far has struggled to gain popularity to any real extent. It is hoped that the upgrade will improve the prospects of cementing and growing the platform’s market share.
The combination of Google’s AI Assistant with Android TV means that users will be able to interact with their devices in a number of new, convenient and useful ways. At a basic level, you’ll be able to ask questions about the weather, directions, traffic conditions and your upcoming schedule. You’ll also be able to command it to play the videos you want – a feature which does a lot to compliment the Android TV. Although the platform has its own voice control, the voice processing technology used by Google represents a significant step up in terms of functionality. The user experience is quite different from the Android TV standard setup. You can expect to have more of a conversation with the Assistant in order to get to what you want, rather than having to try to second-guess the right question to ask.
If you’re wondering which devices we’ll see this update on, look for any Android TV device that runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow or 7.0 Nougat. This includes the Dish AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos TVs, Sony Bravia TVs, Xiaomi’s Mi Box and the NVIDIA Shield (which works hands-free).