One of the biggest limitations of Google Home, Google’s voice-controlled speakerbot, was that it couldn’t tell anyone apart so all your requests were centered on one Google account. But thanks to its latest update, now it can recognise up to six people.
Google Home still hasn’t been launched into Australia, but it’s quickly maturing in the US. This is great for any potential local launch, too, because Aussies will then end up with a more mature service from day one.
Google’s latest multi-user update is a pretty big deal for a device that’s supposed to be a central part of your home. Previously, if you asked it to do something like read your agenda it would only be able to refer to a calendar for a single Google account. Which means that your family, friends, partners, dogs, and cats would all have to share the same calendar if more than one person wanted to use the device.
The latest update lets you add up to six people so that everyone can talk to the Home and actually get personalised responses. I wouldn’t expect perfection, though; you train it by repeating the phrase “OK Google” or “Hey Google” a few times, but inevitably it will probably confuse people’s voices.
Confusing different voices isn’t that big of a deal because Google is still pretty skittish about actually doing things to your Google account through the device. Reasonably so; you don’t want anyone within earshot to send emails on your behalf. Having multiple accounts would especially complicate such features, but hopefully future updates will make the device able to actually do more.