Google Smart Home Assistant – Deep Dive

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Introduction:

The Google Assistant’s bag of smart home tricks is growing at breakneck speed. At the beginning of this year, the Assistant supported 1,500 devices; by May, that figure had increased to more than 5,000. Now, the Google Smart Home support page has been updated to show that more than 10,000 devices from more than 1,000 manufacturers play nice with Google’s ecosystem.

Everything from TVs and stereos to kitchen appliances and air conditioners can be controlled by voice via Google Assistant; if you can imagine a voice-activated smart home scenario, there’s probably a way to make it happen. You can peruse Google’s list of Assistant partners to get an idea of the breadth of home tasks the platform can help you with.

While 10,000 is an impressive figure, Amazon Alexa has a considerable lead over Google with support for more than 20,000 smart home products. Still, at the rate Google Assistant is picking up steam, it wouldn’t be surprising to see parity in the near future.

You can build smart home Actions that let users control Internet of Things (IoT) devices through the Google Assistant. Building smart home Actions lets you connect, query, and control devices through your existing cloud infrastructure.

Smart home Actions rely on Home Graph, a database that stores and provides contextual data about the home and its devices. For example, Home Graph can store the concept of a living room that contains multiple types of devices (a light, television, and speaker) from different manufacturers. This information is passed to the Google Assistant in order to execute user requests based on the appropriate context.

Google Assistant Video Guide

 

Google Assistant Smart Home SDK/API

The Google Assistant SDK lets you embed the Google Assistant in your devices to bring voice control, natural language understanding, and more.
The Google Assistant SDK lets you add hotword detection, voice control, natural language understanding and Google’s smarts to your devices. Your device captures an utterance (a spoken audio request, such as What’s on my calendar?), sends it to the Google Assistant, and receives a spoken audio response in addition to the raw text of the utterance.

 

How to use Google Assistant in your projects?

The Google Assistant Library, a Python library which is perfect for prototyping quickly, such as building an AIY Voice Kit device… or you can use
The Google Assistant Service, a gRPC API that generates bindings for many languages, such as Go, Java, C#, Node.js or Ruby.
These 2 APIs are very similar in terms of features. The Python library is a little more advanced though, as it provides hands-free activation (“Ok Google”). With the gRPC API, you need to manually press a button (either physical or digital) to use the Google Assistant; however, you will be able to target more platforms.

 

Google Home Assistant Device Actions:

Device Actions are a way for the Google Assistant to:

  • understand that you are referring to the device that is embedding the Assistant
  • transmit the desired action to the device, without intermediaries.

To understand that the “Ok Google, change the color to blue” sentence is referring to the device you are talking to, the Google Assistant has to be aware of that device and all the functionalities it supports (known as Traits).

This is the reason why, to be able to embed the Google Assistant, a device has to register first with a list of traits it supports.

Traits are predefined and you can find the complete list of supported traits in the official documentation.

 

Google Home Assistant Device Actions Directory:

Users can discover your Actions via the Actions directory on the web and mobile devices, so be sure to promote and market your Actions appropriately. The Actions directory lets users discover your Actions easily and learn how to use them afterwards.
Directory Link

 

Google Smart Home Device Types:

Smart home supports a number of different device types. Pick one that best aligns with your particular product.

Device types harness the power of the Google Assistant’s natural language processing. For example, a device with a type light can be turned on in different ways:

  • Turn on the light.
  • Turn my light on.
  • Turn on my living room light.

The functionality for device types comes from the traits that you add to each one. Each device type has a number of recommended traits, but you can add whichever ones you want.

Google Smart Home Supported Devices:

  • Air conditioning unit
  • Air purifier
  • Camera
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Dryer
  • FanKettle
  • Light
  • OutletOven
  • Refrigerator
  • Scene
  • Sprinkler
  • Switch
  • Thermostat
  • Vacuum
  • Washer

 

How to create Google smart home Action:

Smart home Actions are structured differently than traditional Actions. The process for how users trigger actions and the actions’ conversations are handled for you; all you need to do is handle smart home intents on your service.

To create a smart home Action, you’ll need to the following:

  • Set up an OAuth 2.0 server for account linking.
  • Create an Actions on Google developer project.
  • Select the smart home option.
  • Provide fulfillment for smart home intents.
  • Test and submit your Actions project for approval.

 

Programming languages used for Google Home Assistant:

  • Pyhton
  • C++
  • Java
  • Lisp
  • Prolog

 

Google Home Assistant Actions Simulator:

The simulator in the Actions console lets you test your Action through an easy-to-use web interface that lets you simulate hardware devices and their settings. You can also access debug information such as the request and response that your fulfillment receives and sends.

Google Home Cloud:

Link

 

Google Home Assistant Developer Tutorial:

 

Google Home Assistant Compatible Devices:

Your Google AssistantGoogle Assistant works with thousands of smart home devices from more than 200+ popular brands, and Google is adding new brands all the time. List of google home compatible devices.

Some IoT developers have connected Raspberry Pi and Arduino kind of devices to Google Home assistant.

 

Google Smart Home Mobile Application:

 

List of Google Home Assistant Projects:

List of projects – Link

 

Must Read Articles:

 

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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