Though smart speakers have the potential to be extremely useful in busy households they face a big barrier in that they only support single user accounts. This could be a problem Google is well on its way to solving with Google Home.
According to a recent report by Android Police (opens in new tab), the code in the latest version of the Google Home app contains references to the speaker being able to be trained to recognize user voices.
Being able to distinguish different members of a household by their voices would make it possible for the smart speaker to support multiple user accounts.
More users means more useful
It would make sense for Google to be working this, particularly after reports have recently emerged that Amazon is working on the same ability for its Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot devices.
Though Alexa does currently support multiple user accounts, switching between them has to be done manually which definitely detracts from how useful the device is.
Whichever device is able to overcome this voice identification barrier first and secure multi-user support will certainly have a big advantage in what is an increasingly competitive market. At the moment it seems that Amazon is winning the smart speaker war but such a significant feature could give Google the boost it needs.
Having a digital assistant for your home is useful, but not if every person in the house has to have their own device to make their own purchases and access the benefit of individualized recommendations for services like Spotify.
Having one device that’s able to learn and accommodate the individual tastes of a whole household would certainly make it feel more an essential part of a home than it does currently.
That said, with only a few lines of code for reference it’s impossible to tell how far along Google may be in developing this feature or whether it will ever release it at all.
- Good news: Google Home finally has a UK release date