Google Assistant is already a very capable voice assistant (with some studies even ranking it the smartest of all the voice assistants), but now Google is looking to make it even more useful – by investing in startups.
That’s right, alongside its own internal workings, the search giant is funneling money and resources into a new scheme (opens in new tab) that helps to nourish the development of startups that are dedicated to working on Google Assistant.
The lucky recipients get (currently undisclosed) investment capital from Google; advice from Google engineers, product managers and design experts; access to the Google Cloud Platform; and promotional support from Google.
The first four
So, how is this going to change your Google Assistant? Well, if the first recipients are anything to go by, it’ll soon be able to teach you English or be a hotel concierge.
GoMoment is the creator of Ivy, “a 24/7 concierge for hotel guests, capable of providing instant answers to common questions” currently used by Caesars Palace in Vegas among others, and Edwin is a digital tutor that can train you for tests such as Test of English as a Foreign Language.
There are two other recipients, BotSociety and Pulse Labs that focus on improving voice applications.
Google already opened up the Assistant platform to third party developers in 2017, but it’s interesting to see it directly investing in third party companies in an effort to make Assistant better. As Google still lags behind Amazon in terms of adoption, it could be that Google’s attempt to overtake it is by making Assistant better than Alexa.
- Want to see what we think of Google's smart speaker? Check out: Google Home review