Google Home's assistant can now recognize different voices

Isaac Cain
April 21, 2017

You can use Home to train your assistant to recognize each of the different voices-and of course, it can start addressing each person found in its records by name.

Google Home is finally getting a feature that its users have been clamoring for since it launched past year: it can now distinguish between different voices and respond with personalized responses. Only one person's Google account could be logged in at a time. From then on, Google Home will be able to provide personal results because it knows who you are. The Echo doesn't yet recognize different voices, so Alexa can't retrieve more personal information for different accounts.

The feature is rolling out to all U.S. users starting Thursday.

The update is rolling out in the US initially.

This support is rolling out starting today, with a card popping up at the top of the Google Home app when "multi-user is available". And since the company is using voice recognition to separate accounts, it's not like you can just set up a separate user for your work calendar and tell the device to switch over.

Google's networks will then analyze your voice to determine its specific characteristics and save them for your account. The comparison, according to Yuri, "takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds".

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Google has announced that Google Home now supports multiple users. For example, Google Assistant will know what's on your calendar, what your reminders are and what your commute looks like.

Google does it via a quick voice training process at the point of setup.

The ability to distinguish voices may help Home siphon sales from Amazon.com's Echo, a competing product that features its own voice-activated assistant, Alexa.

To learn your voice, Google Home will ask you to speak the key phrases that "wake up" the device. With Google Home, often being a shared device, it can be tricky to balance privacy and personalization.

Hours after the advertisement made the rounds, Google Home stopped responding to the man's voice in the advertisement, asking: "OK Google, tell me about the Whopper burger".

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