Google: 'Talk to me'

by Volker Weber

Google wants to be your gateway to information. That's why it created Android. That is why it is building a WhatsApp competitor that copies its core idea: your phone number is your id and your phone is your password. And it is bringing Android Auto to your car.

You won't need a head unit or a display in your car. You just need a place to put your phone. Chances are it already has a big display. You can add audio via Bluetooth and power with a cable. But that slow moving car company does not have to accommodate you for thousands of $ or €. Android Auto is going to use the phone display for its simplified interface. As long as you are driving yourself, car makers have no chance to keep up with the pace of innovation on smart devices.

The in-car experience is a very good use case for voice interaction. You can talk to your computer and it can talk back to you without bothering too many people. And Google is uniquely positioned to provide the best experience. Their natural language processing is working very well, they understand more than a hundred languages, and they have the background knowledge. "I want to see the Maniera exhibition. Where is it?" - "The Maniera exhibition is at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt." - "Show me the way." Google will be able to tie all things together. Find places, make reservations, buy tickets, navigate to the venue, navigate inside the exhibition, tell you about it. They can do it all. They might even be able to provide you with a VR experience without actually going there.

Everybody wants to be in that conversation space. Facebook has Messenger and WhatsApp. And they are invested in VR with Oculus Rift. Amazon has Alexa, Echo and Prime. Microsoft wants to do it with Cortana. Eventually:

Comments

Know nothing about Googles architecture in this domain, but i like Apples new "Viv" approach for Siri: provide a high level toolkit for developers so that new knowledge domains can be developed be independend (read: many!) developers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI07aeZqeco

shows the idea (Dag Kittlaus is not brillant as a presenter, but you get the idea ...)

Hajo Schmitt, 2016-05-19

Viv is not related to Apple. The Viv team created Siri, but Viv is independent.

Volker Weber, 2016-05-19

And it all reinforces Google's core business: advertising

Amy Blumenfield, 2016-05-19

Excellent comparison: "Her" is not just a great movie but also a nice conversation starter for non-geeks to fantasize about the digital revolution ;-)

Ralf ter Veer, 2016-05-19

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