Google Home responds to anyone who says “Ok, Google” which is great but it doesn’t stop the smart speaker from responding to TV commercials.
This was evident last night during the Super Bowl where Google aired an ad for Google Home during the first half of the game. Google hasn’t aired a Super Bowl commercial since 2010’s Parisian Love commercial so we were excited to see what they had in store for the ad. They decided to use an existing ad, seen below, that first aired when Google Home launched back in October of 2016. It’s a pretty great commercial and really shows off what the smart speaker is capable of including turning on the lights, playing music, dimming the lights, translating languages, making animal noises for your kids and more.
However, there one glaring issue with this years ad. When the actors in the commercial said the wake word, “Ok, Google”, it woke up viewers devices and they started to respond to the commands. Light started to go on and off, music started playing and whale sounds were heard across the country. Responding to it’s wake word from a TV commercial is a problem and Amazon Alexa has the same issue. They’re both not smart enough yet to tell the difference between your voice and a voice coming from your TV. Amazon’s does allow users the change the wake word to Echo, Computer or Amazon but Google Home doesn’t allow that yet. It’s also not that appealing to change the wake word if you’re already used to “Alexa” or “Ok, Google.”
With that being said, the only way to stop Google Home from responding to TV commercials is to switch of the microphone off via the physical switch on the back of the device. Obviously, this is not an ideal solution because it’s a hassle to switch off the microphone every time you think there may be a TV commercial with the phrase “Ok, Google.” Also, it’s possible that you will forget to turn the microphone back on which will cause unnecessary inconvenience. We hope Google can fix this issue through advanced voice recognition software which would help in this case and cases when other Google Assistant devices are present in the same room as a Google Home smart speaker.