Google Assistant will be improved and augmented with new features as part of its integration into the new Pixel Watch and Pixel 7 smartphone line. Google introduced the upgrades at its annual Made by Google hardware event this week, showcasing better voice typing and new smart home connections for its latest products.
The new Pixel Watch is Google’s first smartwatch, powered by Wear OS and incorporating a lot of Fitbit technology. Google Assistant is embedded within for hands-free control. The voice assistant can send messages, set a timer, or start a run. The Watch can also access and adjust connected smart home devices. Google Assistant links the Pixel Watch to smartphones, with exclusive features for the Google Pixel line, especially the newly announced Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Plus.
For instance, Google Assistant’s voice typing feature, a speech-to-text tool for writing and editing messages that Google claims is two and a half times faster than typing on the keyboard, added Spanish, Italian, and French to its language options. Users can also get automated emoji suggestions and search for specific ones, even if they don’t know the official name. The AI will also pick information to populate the lock screen of the Pixel 7 with the new At a Glance feature, like package deliveries, doorbell videos, and weather forecasts.
The voice assistant will also improve its secretarial service, with a new “Silence” Quick Phrase to send phone calls to voicemail without saying “Hey Google.” It will also transcribe voice messages right after they arrive. Google is also updating its Direct My Call service, which uses the Duplex business voice AI technology to help navigate customer service phone trees and has handled more than 50 million calls. Now, the Pixel 7 and Pro will show the call menu options on the screen so that callers can tap their choice on the screen before they even listen to the options.
“We use our state-of-the-art Duplex and Assistant technology to basically understand the menu options of these businesses in advance,” Google Assistant product management director Minni Shahi said. “In other words, Duplex has already called the business and learned the menu options before the user places the call for the first time, allowing it to present the phone tree options.”
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