Google Home was first announced at Google I/O back in May as an example of Google’s Assistant. Instead of just searching the web, the idea was using Google’s search engine to surface answers. This is part of an evolution of the search engine where certain queries rendered cards with answers. With Google Home, users could get answers by speaking questions. Through Allo and Google Assistant on Pixel phones, users could also type in questions and get useful answers.
This is now expanding to your Android TV. NVIDIA’s new Shield TV was announced with the feature, but it is coming to “all Android TVs in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat“.
Users will be able to call up the assistant from anywhere on the device, like Google Search, and give it actions instead of just search results. “Play Stranger Things on Netflix.” will immediately start playing the show through the Netflix app, and the Actions SDK will allow third-party developers to build their own services on top of Assistant.
This will also be a useful aid in smart homes. Statements like “Dim the lights.” will allow your TV to interact with IoT devices using the same tools as other Google Assistant entry points.
The NVIDIA Shield will allow for hands-free actions with the NVIDIA Spot, something that may not work on other Android TVs. The update will happen “in the coming months”, probably as part of the Google Search app.