Google announced that it will bring its Google Assistant to Android TV in the coming months.
According to a CES-timed announcement, Google will add support for its personal digital assistant to supported Android TVs and set-top boxes via a software update. That “supported” bit means that some older Android TV-based devices that haven’t or won’t be updated to the latest Android versions (6.0+) will not get this functionality.
More specifically, Google says that the NVIDIA Shield and “all Android TVs in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat, such as the AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos, Sony Bravia, Xiaomi Mi Box, and more” will receive this update. The NVIDIA Shield will be the first one to get it, however.
One can easily imagine that Google Assistant on Android TV will work much like similar voice-controlled systems from Amazon (Fire TV), Roku, and others in that you will need to activate voice control using a button on the remote control. Presumably, future devices with microphones will simply listen for your voice commands.
Regardless of how it’s activated, Google Assistant will then function much like its competitors, of course. You can give it commands like “Play Stranger Things on Netflix,” “Dim the lights,” “How long will it take to get to work?” and so on.
Google also said that its Google Assistant will come to more devices this year, including Android Wear 2.0-based smart watches, Android-powered in-car systems, and other embedded devices that use the Embedded Google Assistant SDK. Companies such as Damlier and Hyundai are among the companies that will offer this functionality.