Mobile Commerce

Google Home To Support Multiple Users, Ushers In Increased Functionality

Voice Commands: Glue of the Google Ecosystem?

Google Home is reportedly gearing up to support multiple users.

According to a report, while multiple users aren’t supported on Google Home as of now, a feature emerged in the app that said multiple users are now supported. The report noted that while at first blush multiple user support may not seem like a huge deal, offering it unlocks a slew of other features for which Google Home users have been waiting. Some of that includes authentication, which means Google Home can access a user’s Google data. Currently Google Home is a publicly accessible device, which is why it can’t access any personal data and it is precluded from offering some features like voice assistant commands for setting reminders, creating calendar events and even notetaking, noted the report.

While Google may be slow to roll out support for multiple users, it is embracing payments via Google Home. In February Google announced Google’s Assistant will pull goods from the retailers that already support Google Express — including Costco, Walgreens and Whole Foods. To make the system work, the customer does a maneuver familiar to anyone who has ever spoke to Alexa via an Echo. When a consumer says stuff like, “OK, Google, how do I shop?” or, “OK, Google, order toilet paper,” the device will make the connection to the appropriate merchant and begin the process of getting the toilet paper delivered — as long as the customer has remembered to set a credit or debit card as payment method and given Google an address to deliver the package to.

The challenge, of course, is to catch up with Amazon — which has been doing this for over six months and comes preloaded with a massive cohesive marketplace of goods. Then again, some fans have pointed out that the variety of retailers Google draws from might be a selling point, as it offers more inherent variety. Google says it plans on enabling purchasing for “other apps and services” in the coming months. Whether those features and services will show up on the Google Assistant device remains to be seen.

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