Advertisers often point to one major flaw in smart-home hubs -- the inability to recognize the person voicing the query or connecting multiple calendars on desktop or mobile from multiple people to one smart-home device. Google on Thursday said it has solved that problem, providing the ability for up to six people to connect their accounts and distinguish each voice from the others.
The move will allow Google to build out a model in which advertisers can attribute voice searches on Home to specific users, allowing platforms like Google AdWords to target ads and Google Analytics to track back and tie together each specific consumer to the device. It personalizes the experience and gives advertisers a leg up when it comes to targeting precise ads based on preferences and information in the person's calendar and searches.
The accounts connect in a way that is similar to the way that users link to a Bluetooth speaker. The user needs to teach the virtual assistant to recognize each voice in the household using the device. Google says that for certain features, like personalized music and commute, preferences will need to be set up in the app.
The feature will begin rolling out Thursday for Google Home users in the U.S., but will expand to the U.K. in the coming months.
The multiple user feature in rival Amazon Echo does not have the ability to distinguish multiple voices in the household, but it does allow the household to share profiles.
In March, RBC Capital Markets released its first Google Home survey results, which show that "Google Home’s awareness and installed base could be much closer to Alexa, with a brand awareness in the U.S. 80% that of Alexa and an installed base that may be close to a third that of Alexa."