Google – Google Home & Assistant

by Malte Granderath, Steven Abreu, Regina Velazquez, Matius Chairani

Summary of Service:

Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start with, “Ok Google”.” This is Google’s description of its new service. You can place the gadget into any room of your house and once you ask it to do something it will use the Google Assistant software.

The Google Assistant is a new service by Google, which uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and collected data to assist you with almost anything. You can talk to it and it answers back. The main processing does not take place on the device but on the Google servers. “Ask it anything.” This is repeated often on the Google Assistant site. Google wants the Assistant to be able to help you in any scenario. Tell your Assistant to play jazz on the living room speakers, set your “go to the gym” alarm, make a reservation, send a message, or turn your kitchen lights off.”

Google tries to reach a wide user base by allowing third-party developers to integrate their application services.

  • “Tell it to do things.”
  • “Ask it anything.”
  • “All your devices. One Assistant.”
  • “Safe, secure and in your control.”

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How it works

When turned on, Google Home continuously listens for the phrase “OK, Google” which is the hot word that activates Google Assistant that processes your speech. Speeches are only uploaded onto Google’s servers to be processed after the hot word “OK, Google” is detected. Snippets of audio during in which the hot word is not detected, are stored locally on the device and are then discarded. Google Home also features a mute button which puts the device in a standby mode.

Why Big Data?

  • Volume:
    • Data is too large to be handled by a normal analysis
  • Variety:
    • Data consists of voice recordings that then have to be processed to allow for real processing of the data
    • Users can request anything and there should always be a response, so therefore the data has a high variety
  • Velocity
    • 3.5 billion Google searches per day
    • More than half of the searches come from mobile
    • 20% of searches are conducted by voice
  • Veracity
    • The data comes from different regions and different people

Those two services can do a lot more than just search the web. They can reserve seats at a restaurant, control your home, retrieve flight information, and much more. Google Home is a hardware that listens to sound even when in standby mode and it turns on when a specific keyword is said. Then it will record the voice of the user and process what the user wants, by sending it to the Google servers to be extensively processed. This means that even more data will be collected about the users. The users do not have to take out a smartphone or laptop. Google will be accessible to them everywhere. Google collects every tiny bit of data about a user it can get and then uses that data for future actions of the user. Considering the huge amounts of data accessible to Google through these services, this is a perfect example of the use of big data.

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chartoftheday_899_unique_users_of_search_engines_in_december_2012_n

Strengths and weakness

Strength

  • Facilitates the information accessibility
  • Very user-friendly
  • Further enables Google to lock in customers
  • Convenient for consumers to use more Google products/services
  • Compatible with other widely used services (Spotify, Uber, Pandora, Philips Hue, Youtube)

Weaknesses

  • Might be seen as too invasive
  • Privacy issues

One of Google Home’s strength would have to be the built-in Google Assistant which was built with the Google Ecosystem in mind, allowing seamless integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Play, and other Google products and services. Google Home seems to be a more natural and user-friendly interface to interact with the Google Ecosystem wherein you can have hands-free access to Google Assistant by simply using your voice. Through all the interaction between you and the Google Home, Google Assistant then builds on the profile of your lifestyle and desire that is associated with your Google account.

Unfortunately, Google Home does not seem to be able to recognize different people in a room with different tastes and preferences, and individually build up individual profiles for everyone. Each Google Home device can only be linked to one Google account and does not have an account switching feature either. In comparison to its main competitor, Amazon’s Echo, Google Home has fewer partners whose products you can connect Google Home as it offers less developer freedom. However, Google Home is still continuously being developed to improve and be able to offer more features than it already does.

google-partners-100661759-large1services supported right now

Opportunities and threats

Opportunities

  • Monopoly in data-driven personalized services
  • Pioneer in growing machine learning and AI market
  • Rising demand in quickly accessible information

Challenges / Threats

  • Regulations on privacy and data collection
  • Service is too new and unfamiliar to consumers
    • Possibility of not entering mainstream marketplace

Google is an advertising company at heart, and introducing Google Home allows them to build better individual profiles through daily integration from even the most basic act of conversing. Google Assistant being powered by Google Search, means that the use of Google Home will induce more searches driving additional usage, and in return generates additional dollars for the company. Google can also use data from Google Home such your daily habits for a more targeted advertising. It will also complete Google’s portfolio of offering all services possible. Customers who are already well rooted in Google’s ecosystem would appreciate the convenience of having a Google Home as a personal assistant.

The most obvious threat to Google Home would be Amazon’s Echo which had been in the market for a longer time and had gained a very high liking. A challenge for Google would be to find out how they can get customers who are already using Amazon’s Echo to switch to Google Home instead. This service might also be new and unfamiliar to customers especially who would feel creeped out by the idea of being constantly surveilled by Google Home. Laws on privacy and data collection may also hinder the popularity of Google Home in the future.

References

Gaudin, S. (2016, October 6). How Google home’s “always on” will affect privacy. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.computerworld.com/article/3128791/data-privacy/how-google-homes-always-on-will-affect-privacy.html

Mattera, S. (2016, June 4). 3 advantages Google home has over Amazon echo — the motley fool. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from investing, http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/06/04/3-advantages-google-home-has-over-amazon-echo.aspx

9 things Google Home can do that Alexa can’t. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from c|net, https://www.cnet.com/how-to/amazon-echo-alexa-vs-google-home/

iTech. (2016, October 10). Google home pros and cons: Is it worth it? Retrieved November 28, 2016, from iTech, http://www.itechpost.com/articles/38762/20161010/google-home-pros-cons-worth.htm

Post, W. (2016, October 8). Analysis: Is Google home ready for your family? . Retrieved from http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161008/business/161009038/

Hotchkiss, G. (2007, March 9). The pros & cons of personalized search. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from Channel: Strategy, http://searchengineland.com/the-pros-cons-of-personalized-search-10697

Google assistant – your own personal Google. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://assistant.google.com/

Made by Google. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://madeby.google.com/home/

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3 thoughts on “Google – Google Home & Assistant

  1. Short and to the point! Would have like to have seen a Business Canvas in order to give more attention to’Key Partners’, ‘Key Values’, ‘Key Resources’ and ‘Cost Flow’…

    Like

  2. Good choice for a case study =) I guess the amount of data which is collected is huuuuge ! It is an very interesting topic and for me completely new.

    The weaknesses you mention (privacy issues and too invasive) are for me so extrem that I never would use it. I don’t think the strength are worth it!

    Like

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