The Smart Home market is moving quick nowadays with competition between Amazons echo and Googles own Home opening up new possibilities at a fast rate.
Up until now Google Home only linked up to the account of whoever set it up first and then all of the commands and interaction went through that account. That's all changes now as the device will be able to handle different accounts and tell who's speaking to it.
It's a feature that Amazon's Echo doesn't have. And it's important for a voice assistant that's designed to run your household. For an assistant such as Siri, which lives on devices used by just one person, multi-account support isn't as important. But home hubs sit in a central location and operate things such as your lights or your thermostat that everyone will want to be able to control.
Being able to identify an individual's voice may also help cut down on some unwanted surprises. Google said in a statement that the new feature makes it so that "only you" would be able to shop via Google Home.
“So others - i.e, your kids or an intelligent parrot - shouldn't be able to tell Home to buy something on your account. That avoids instances like one in San Diego this January when Amazon Echo units started ordering dollhouses after hearing a news anchor said "Alexa ordered me a dollhouse."
Google Home, right, sits on display near a Pixel phone following a product event, in San Francisco. Google’s voice-activated assistant can now recognize who’s talking to it on the Google’s Home speaker.
"We're just getting started and we won't be perfect," Google said. "We don't recommend that users rely upon voice identification as a security feature."
To set up the new feature, users will have to hop in to the Google Home app, which should have a new option for "multi-user" support on any connected Google Home connected to your network. Home owners can add up to six accounts, according to a company blog post.
Google Home owners will have to teach the hub how to identify their voices by saying "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" twice into the device, when prompted. This allows it to learn different characteristics of each person's voice.
This kind of training should be familiar to anyone who uses Siri, or the voice assistant on Google's phones - the key difference being that you'll have to go through it multiple times on Home, depending on how many accounts you want to hook up.
Google said that it will use its network to "compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so we can understand if it's you speaking or not." The company promises this should only take a few milliseconds.
The feature is rolling out to all US users starting Thursday. Google said it also plans to bring this feature to the United Kingdom in "the coming months.