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Welcome to the last Voice Search Babble of the year. 2017 has been a huge year for voice search and 2018 looks to eclipse this with new product launches from Samsung and Apple, reporting on Voice Search in Google Search Console and more integrations for both the Google Assistant and Alexa.

 

This Christmas, you can use your Google Assistant to call Santa. The voice changes to a “Santa” voice that you can chat to.

More details here: https://www.androidheadlines.com/2017/11/call-santa-added-google-home-assistant-devices.html

 

Ebay Australia and New Zealand have created a Google Assistant action which allows you to ask questions about how much something is worth.

More details here: https://which-50.com/ok-google-ebay-launches-voice-search-technology/

 

You can now start to string multiple requests together for home actions. For example, you can ask Google to turn down the lights and play music at the same time.

More details here: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/you-can-now-string-two-google-home-commands-together/

 

Zach Levine has created a Furby which is powered by an Amazon Echo. Using a 1989 Furby for the integration, the little toy moves its mouth and eyes as it talks… scary!

More details here: https://nerdist.com/furby-amazon-echo-combined-furlexa/

 

Amazon Alexa is targeting a move into offices and meeting rooms. It makes sense: notes could be taken for conference calls and video calls, whilst Alexa could be used for the control of screens etc. We have Google Minis and Echo Dots in meeting rooms at ROAST so we’ll be testing these features once they come out.

More details here: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/12/01/amazon-echo-office-alexa-for-business/

 

One question that people are beginning to ask is: how are Google going to monetize assistant powered devices? We’ve already seen the options with images on the Echo Show, but another route could be lead generation for service based businesses. In this example, Google have partnered with HomeAdvisor and Porch so that when a user asks for a plumber they will be prompted to explain the problem and confirm a location.

More details here: https://searchengineland.com/google-brings-local-lead-generation-google-assistant-google-home-287527

 

Time are a company that have evolved over time (sorry for the pun). From a paid magazine, to a free handout on the tube and then to a web-based publisher. Time are now looking at voice search and have created a Google Assistant action. People can ask questions like: “What’s a good bar to go to tomorrow?”, “What’s happening in London tonight?” or “Where’s a good place to go for cocktails with the girls this weekend?” The action then provides answers from Time’s database of reviews and suggestions.

More details here: https://digiday.com/media/time-plans-use-google-home-grow-e-commerce-business/

 

Google’s John Mu took to twitter to ask website owners and marketeers what reporting options they want to see from the Google Search Console. As there has been no reporting on voice search as of yet, this request for ideas is a step in the right direction.

More details here: https://www.seroundtable.com/voice-search-google-search-console-24884.html

 

We’ve spoken before about a Google device with a screen. Now, it looks like even more of a reality with a job positing looking for a developer to work on a touch screen device. No idea of when in 2018 it will be launched yet.

More details here: http://www.techradar.com/news/google-home-with-touchscreen-hinted-at-by-new-job-listing

 

One of the differences between the Amazon Alexa dot and the Google Home mini is that the dot has the ability to plugin an aux port which would allow you to plug in to a bigger speaker system. Modder SnekTek added an aux to a Google mini by opening it up and performing some surgery on the smart speaker.

More details here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/diy-mod-gives-google-home-mini-feature-along-3354102

 

And finally two “good news” funny stories to end with, like in Anchorman when they have the video of the squirrel that can waterski.

http://mashable.com/2017/12/06/google-home-boy-language-deficit-first-word/ – Google Home helps a boy with a language deficit speak, his first word…. Google

http://www.insideedition.com/polly-wanna-alexa-parrot-uses-amazon-echo-turn-lights-home-38201 – A parrot can use an Amazon Alexa to turn on the lights.