Google Assistant is young. Launched just a few months ago, in many ways it still lacks the skills that Google Now already possesses. What it does have, however, is some pretty deep machine learning on its side.
As it gets better over time, Google has made it clear that Assistant will make it to more and devices.
Here’s why we think Chromebooks could be in that discussion.
Chromebooks have had ‘OK Google’ support from the search menu for quite some time. If you’ve never tried it, go to your settings, select ‘enable OK Google…’, and you can then use your voice to invoke a Google Search.
It’s handy, but not a huge deal.
What we are seeing in the commits right now is a big step forward.
Wake On Voice
In this commit, we see clear language about the ‘Gru’ baseboard getting ‘Wake on Voice’ support via the DSP: digital signal processor.
As a reminder, the ‘Gru’ baseboard is what The Samsung Chromebook Pro is built on.
Further down the line, we have this commit clearly stating the addition of ‘OK Google’ as a keyword to wake a Chromebook device from a sleep state.
Additionally, we see some commits removing the option in the settings for Skylake Chromebooks for the time being as they figure out how to get it implemented properly for those boards.
What this means is The Samsung Chromebook Pro could end up shipping with ‘Wake on Voice’ enabled.
What Could That Mean?
There are a few things Google could be doing here.
First, the current implementation of ‘OK Google’ could simply be extended to sleeping Chromebooks. While that would be neat, I simply don’t see what the use would be if the ‘Wake on Voice’ wasn’t extended to do more.
A second option could be the inclusion of Google Assistant. As Google looks to extend the use and value of the Assistant, Chromebooks could be a fantastic place for it to work its magic.
With the Android Framework now a part of the core Chrome OS setup, it would be easier than ever for Google to deploy Assistant in Chrome OS to do a ton of things across the OS.
This addition will likely take some time to see full integration, but I can’t see Google adding ‘Wake on Voice’ without something more useful than a simple Google search in mind.
What do you think? Would Assistant be beneficial on a Chromebook? Do you think this is what Google is up to?
Can’t wait to discuss!