10,000 Devices From 1,000 Brands Feature Google Assistant Integration
In short: Google took a moment today to remind everyone that its Assistant AI, and associated ecosystem, is now compatible with over 10,000 different smart and IoT devices from over 1,000 different manufacturers. Just about every category of smart device that could wind up in your home is covered by at least one manufacturer or device, and in some cases, Google has partnered up with specific manufacturers to make integrations even deeper, or even to create a starter kit, as seen with the General Electric smart light kit pictured below.
Background: While there are still only a few products that are officially classed as ‘made By Google,’ the company has partnered with many companies and opened up its portfolio to developers. Early successes with Nest and others have led to Google essentially going all-out on IoT, and to the point where it has now today confirmed Google Assistant to be working with over 10,000 different devices. Along the way, Google took a sort of universal approach that made it easier for Google Assistant to work with all sorts of new devices, and made it easier for device makers to integrate Assistant support directly into those devices. This approach has resulted in a number of big-name brands joining the party, including Vivint, General Electric, iRobot, among others.
Impact: This absolutely massive stable of IoT devices is likely to only be the beginning in the grand scheme of things. Google is working hard to position its Assistant at the forefront of the movement that’s seeing AI assistants take on more responsibilities, and a more central place in users’ lives. Stiff competition from Amazon and the Alexa ecosystem, as well as newer and/or less popular fare like Samsung’s Bixby and Apple’s Siri are going to make it hard for Google to position Assistant and Google Home as quintessential, but packaging Assistant on Android phones is sure to have helped with user familiarity and ecosystem integration. Looking to the future, more makers and devices will be brought on board, helping to grow and mature an already robust ecosystem, and further adding to the well-understood point that Google sees IoT as a critical application for voice assistants.