My first experience with Google Home, a Voice First Hardware

To begin with I would like to provide few facts and figures taken from an article at:
“A) Proliferation of voice-first hardware Voice labs define a voice-first device as an always-on, intelligent piece of hardware where the primary interface is voice, both input and output. The first voice-first hardware on the market was Amazon Echo at the end of 2014.
According to the 2017 VoiceLabs Report, there were 1.7 million voice-first devices shipped in 2015, 6.5 million in 2016 and there will be 24.5 million devices shipped in 2017, leading to 33 million voice-first devices in circulation.
The main speakers on the market are Amazon Echo (November 2014) and Google Home (November 2016). However, new players are rapidly entering the game: Sony launched the LF-S50G powered by Google Assistant (September 2017), Apple will soon release Homepod (December 2017), Samsung also recently announced that they will release something “soon” and Facebook may release a smart speaker with the touchscreen. Google assistant will also be coming to a number of new speakers, including the Zolo Mojo by Anker, TicHome Mini by Mobvoi and the GA10 by Panasonic. No doubts that the voice-first hardware layer is developing fast and is
expected to grow!”I got my first-hand experience with Google Home speaker in middle of

I got my first-hand experience with Google Home speaker in the middle of September and have since been enjoying the experience which is getting richer day by day. Google Home is Google Assistant based dedicated hardware with the built-in excellent quality speaker. It has no battery and will run only till you have it plugged into electricity. Below are few basic things about such speakers:

We say Okay Google and the speaker will be ready to listen to your voice command for few seconds. Normally this is indicated by the change of color on its LED lights. I switched audio blips from the accessibility settings since I could not make out if the speaker is ready to take my command through the LED lights. The Google Home is \ connected to the internet through the Wi-Fi. Google home is also added as a device to your google account thus getting access to your personal data available in your account and to services that you have subscribed to it.
We can give audio commands similar to ones that we give to Google Assistant on android based mobile phones or the ones that we give to Siri on iPhones. The special thing about such systems is their very powerful and sensitive mikes. You can be sitting anywhere in the room and the speaker is able to pick up your voice command from distance.

Basic stuff:
We can ask Google home to tell us the Time, Weather of not only our own city but of any place in the world. We can ask various questions such as population, distance to the moon or to the nearest coffee-shop, etc. All this is good but only adds to the initial excitement of new toy. Moreover, all this is already available on my mobile phone. Then I started experimenting with something more such as Play BBC world” and the channel started playing from the speaker. “Played the song by Mohammad Rafi” and it started a playlist that had songs by my favorite singer. Initially, it would not play many of the artists that I asked for. However, I subscribed to Google Play Music and then it provided full access to the collection and then the fun really started. Google home is yet not officially released for India thus it is yet not

Google home is yet not officially released for India thus it is yet not connected to many India specific services of news or music. Due to this I also could not configure the Google Home to access tune-In Radio. I can imagine that once I am able to configure India specific services and apps with Google Home, then how useful and exciting it would become.I was able to enhance the capability of Google home by installing Google

I was able to enhance the capability of Google home by installing Google Chrome Cast Stick. I can control the device through Google Home. Imagine this: Yesterday I said: Play Video on Chrome Cast and it started playback of recommended videos from YouTube on my television. Then I asked to “play movie Kaho Na Pyar hai on YouTube. The Google Home confirmed my command and Within a second the movie started playing on the television. This was amazing and looked like magic.

This technology is really picking up fast and being Voice First experience, quite good for people like me with vision impairment. The real fun and magic begin to expand if we install Wi-Fi enabled devices as this device can then be controlled through Google Homes and Amazon Echo. I have a Wi-Fi enabled electricity plug socket. With this I can switch any appliance on or off that is plugged into it using Google Home. These things have started showing up in our country. Such appliances have become quite common in US and Europe. For example, I was recently hosted for two days by our friend in Boston. He is using Amazon Echo. He was standing on the first floor of his house when I reached. He recognized me and said: “Alexa, unlock the front door” The front door on the ground floor was unlocked and I entered his house admiring the convenience provided with this technology. He also could adjust the temperature of any of his rooms through Amazon Echo using voice commands.With the launch of Amazon Echo in India on October 4, this technology is

With the launch of Amazon Echo in India on October 4, this technology is all set to remove several accessibility hurdles from our lives in coming months.



Dipendra Manocha

Published by Saksham

Saksham Trust is a not - for - profit organisation, established in 2003. The sole aim of the trust is to empower persons belonging to this marginalised section of society through a variety of strategies. India has more than 14 million persons with blindness and low vision and above 70 million persons who cannot read normal print due to some sort of disability. A range of services needed to be provided to such persons for their social and economic mainstream into society. Saksham is guided by the Vision of a sensitised and motivated society that acknowledges the value of interdependence and appreciates the abilities of persons with blindness and multiple disabilities and willingly provides equal opportunities for all.

2 thoughts on “My first experience with Google Home, a Voice First Hardware

  1. Looks very promissing. So finally devices have started talking to us. Well explained. However, Apple Smart home has not yet launched in india and same goes for Google.
    Eagerly waiting for december when Apple homepods will be launched. Any Idea Sir as to when Homepods will be launched in india?


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