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Google Assistant makes its way to Android TV

by Brandon Russell | January 5, 2017January 5, 2017 7:00 am PST

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Google Assistant’s presence in Allo and Google Home was just the beginning. The search giant this week announced its smart new AI platform, famed for its ability to understand context, is making its way to more devices in the near future.

Starting with Nvidia’s new Shield TV, Google Assistant will be supported by an array of Android TVs “in the coming months.” Devices will need to be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow at a minimum to receive Assistant, but aside from the basic requirements, Android TV is all that’s needed. A handful of devices will support the technology, including the Xiaomi Mi Box.

At least with the Shield TV, users will be able to experience Assistant much the same way they would with Google Home. That means a complete hands-free experience; users will be able to use the “Ok Google” phrase to activate the feature.

It’s unclear how Assistant will work with the other devices, but the gist is Google’s technology is slowly making its way to other platforms. I still want to know why Assistant isn’t available on the Nexus 6P.

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“Play Stranger Things on Netflix”

Porting Assistant over to the TV makes a lot of sense. Alexa and Siri are available in their respective ecosystems, so it was only a matter of time before Google made a similar move. Its purpose might be a little different when living inside of a set-top box as opposed to Google Home, but its capabilities are the same.

Below is the list of devices we’ll soon find Assistant on:

  • AirTV Player
  • All Android TV televisions in the United States on Android 6.0 or Android 7.0 (including Sony Bravia and Sharp Aquos lines)
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Xiaomi Mi Box

Google said Assistant coming to Android TV is the start of a larger plan to bring the technology to Android Wear 2.0 and in-car infotainment systems, among other platforms. It sounds like 2017 is going to be the technology’s breakout year.

Google

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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