GOOGLE’S HOME GETS PERSONAL
Google’s voice-activated assistant can now recognize who’s talking to it on Google’s Home speaker. An update Thursday enables Home’s built-in assistant to learn the different voices of up to six people, although they can’t all be talking to the Internet-connected speaker at the same time. Distinguishing voices will allow Home to be more personal in some of its responses, depending on who triggers the assistant with the phrase, “OK Google” or “Hey Google.” For instance, once Home is trained to recognize a user, the assistant will automatically be able to tell him what traffic is like on his commute, or list events on his daily calendar. Then another user could get similar information from Home, but customized for her. The ability to distinguish voices may help Home siphon sales from Amazon.com’s Echo, which features its own voice-activated assistant, Alexa.