In the race to connect everything in people's homes to a voice command digital assistant, Google has gone beyond managing standard home equipment like security and entertainment systems, adding an aspect of many people's lives that is spent largely online: Dating.
With the Internet of Things and connected devices, now daters don't have to swipe this way or that to pick their next mistake--or even type a message to make weekend date plans. Their smartphone can do it for them.
Making your home "smart" has created a multitude of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs. But so far, the functionality has been focused on practical uses - planning one's day by voice requesting traffic reports, skipping errands by voicing your online shopping purchases, telling your phone to dim lighting to perfect ambiance, and speaking messages into Slack for your work channel while handling housework - plus a separate raft of entertainment options, in the current selection of supported services.
The dating connection opens a new realm of use for connected homes. Google Assistant's voice functionality is available for Plenty of Fish messaging, so you can speak your friendly-but-indifferent emails, hands free and multi-tasking.
Making this new option simply a newer iteration of existing messaging was "pretty intentional," Plenty of Fish Hesam Hosseini said. "I kind of think of [smartphone assistants] like smart watches. There are certain things that smart watches do really well, but it's not going to replace your phone."
Leveraging the power of Google for your ideas
Your Google-wired home won't give you feedback on your moves, but that could be coming at some point, with the rest of Google Assisstant's potential for hardwire pairing.
And there is a whole host of other add-ons that could end up being a hit for Google Home and Google Assistant. Hosseini says small companies whose products or services are conducive to the development of an app can leverage the power of Google even without name recognition. "I think that smaller startups probably have as much of an in with Google," Hosseini said. "A lot of companies were made out of the smartphone."
Hosseini predicts voicing won't replace your phone in other functions, at least not yet. He sees the functionality of smartphone assistants falling into three main buckets: smart home, music and video streaming, and other apps.
Indeed, anyone looking to innovate on the platform can easily read an official Google guide to extend the Assistant and design an app. The basics: pick a good use case, choose a persona, think of a good app name, and create a user interface that works for both display and voice.