Soon You Won't Have To Say 'Hey Google' To Launch Google Assistant

Amazon's Alexa may have more "skills" and connect with more services, but when it comes to artificial intelligence smarts, Google Assistant has the competition beat (sorry Siri, it isn't even close).

Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

The only problem is that the hotwords used to activate Google Assistant don't exactly role off the tongue. "Hey Google" and "OK Google" can be a real mouthful, whether you're me waking up and struggling to get the words out first thing in the morning, or an Italian grandma who can't quite get it right.

Amazon lets you choose between a few different hotwords that all roll of the tongue more easily, such as "Alexa", "Amazon", "Echo" and even "Computer". Now, Google could do one better by letting you pick your own word to wake up its assistant, at least according to some code spotted in the latest update to the Google app.

9to5Google did some digging and found that Google is laying the groundwork for custom hotwords. The code details how you'll create a new hotword and teach Google Assistant to recognise it. Google also notes that the original "Hey Google" and "OK Google" will still work, even if you add another option.

It's unclear if (or when) this feature would come to Google Home speakers. For now, we're only seeing it in the Google's mobile app, but it's probably only a matter of time until customisable hotwords hit the smart speaker lineup too.


    Stand by for a plethora of older tech nerds using "Open the pod bay doors, Hal".

    Google sells your information to advertisers. They will also keep your voice data, and the police will love them for doing so.

    I’ll stick with Siri.

      Apple will overcharge you, under-deliver, then slow down your underperforming device so a 'genius' can upsell you a new one.

      All so that you pay twice and are still stuck with useless Siri. Glad you feel you've found paradise over there...

      Have you read Apple's privacy policy?

        You mean the one that protects Apple's data from inquisitive customers?

      Yes I am worried about this.

      Scenario 1
      Aus Police: Give us this data.
      Google: It's stored in [country], lol. Seeya

      Scenario 2
      Aus Police: Give us this data
      Google: Ok.
      Aus police see my kids asking for various animal sounds every single day, me asking about the weather and other banal stuff and saying all sorts of joke things to see it's response. It might find out how many days until someone's birthday as well! Or the meaning of a certain word. If my house was more connected, they might see me turning on and off the lights several hundred times also.

      But feel free to stick with an inferior product that doesn't learn you voice.

      Do you seriously believe that Apple aren't storing all that voice data that they are getting through Siri?

      Even if the only thing they use it for is improving Siri itself, it is incredibly unlikely that they are not storing it.

      And when the Fuzz come knocking, Apple will do the exact same thing as anyone else which @darren summed up in his reply

      Last edited 01/02/18 10:54 am

      This is not true. Google doesn't sell personal information from Google Home to anyone, the only information shared with third party vendors is what you request yourself, for example when booking a rideshare.

      Google also allows you to completely control your voice data and you can permanently delete it and disable future collection of that information through the usual privacy settings interface. Google does not keep a copy of any data you delete.

    I want my keyword to be "Oi Dickhead" seems Australian enough to me

      Not sure about that one - I feel there will be a lot of fake triggers!!!

    I've been waiting for the day we can go full Star Trek:
    *beeping sounds*

    So i can finally refer to the AI as "Jarvis"?

    damn I have to decide which fandom to use...
    Something G'ould would be at the top of my list so far...

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