The best thing about virtual assistants, is that they can be integrated into all sorts of devices. Look at Alexa: You have Echo, Tap and a bunch of other devices. There are a whole host of virtual assistants out there now and companies like Google, Microsoft are racing to ensure that their assistant stands at the top.
In what could give Google an edge over its competitors, the company has announced that it is opening up the assistant ecosystem to developers, hardware manufacturers — basically everyone.
Announcing a new Assistant SDK, the company said:
Today, we’re taking another step towards building out that ecosystem by introducing the developer preview of the Google Assistant SDK. With this SDK you can now start building your own hardware prototypes that include the Google Assistant, like a self-built robot or a voice-enabled smart mirror. This allows you to interact with the Google Assistant from any platform.
So basically, you can pick up any mundane, run-of-the mill device and sprinkle it with some smarts. We are talking about smart mirrors, smart juicers….almost anything, as long as it can be made to run with electricity and can be made to hold some electronic components. And since you are integrating Google Assistant into your device, they are almost as smart as your Android smartphone.
The Google Assistant SDK packs the gRPC API. It also has a Python open source client to handle things like authentication and access to the API. As far as how things work is concerned, the SDK allows you to capture a spoken sentence and generate an answer for it by passing it to the Google Assistant service.
And while it’s ideal for prototyping on Raspberry Pi devices, it also adds support for many other platforms.
Here is a video, to allow you an introduction to the new Google Assistant SDK:
And here is a demo as well, of a Moctails mixer and nothing less fellas:
The API is completely free if it is a bit of fun you want to have in your own backyard, however, commercializing it will require you to obtain written permission from Google.
Eventually, Google will allow you to leverage the full power of Google Assistant through any of your devices however, you can’t set alarms and timers for now. And if you are hoping to get your chairs to start serenading you with music when you sit down — nuh-uh. The API won’t allow you to do cool stuff like play music, news or podcasts quite yet.
With that said, Google appears to be doing something similar to what it did with its Android operating system. Open up development to the masses and watch as the ecosystem grows rapidly, all on its own. The company seems to have taken the first step towards allowing hardware manufacturers to make everything ranging from tables to chairs to decorative items smart by integrating them with Google Assistant. After all, why should Google Home have all the fun?
A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.