Google Assistant gets new hotword sensitivity setting for speakers

Brittany A. Roston - Apr 26, 2020, 11:30 am CDT
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Google Assistant gets new hotword sensitivity setting for speakers

Google has announced a new feature for Google Assistant that will make it easier to adjust your smart speaker or smart display to the ambient environment in which it is located. Users can now change Google Assistant’s sensitivity to the hotwork “Hey Google,” increasing its odds of hearing you in a noisy room or decreasing its number of false activations in particularly quiet rooms.

Google Assistant is, of course, accessible on your phone and tablet, as well as smart speakers and smart displays. The latter products are often placed in high-traffic areas of the home — places like the kitchen, living room, and family room. The convenience of these devices is obvious, but they may be hard to activate if you’re in a noisy room.

Starting in the near future, Google Assistant users will see a new prompt advising them about the new feature’s arrival and guiding them on how to adjust the assistant’s hot word sensitivity — either increasing it or decreasing it, depending on your own unique environment.

The feature will be available “in the coming weeks,” according to Google, which says the sensitivity setting will be found in the Google Home app’s Settings menu. Each device can be adjusted so that, for example, the speaker in the noisy kitchen is more sensitive while the speaker in the quiet bedroom is less sensitive.

The feature will launch initially with support for English but will be expanded to get support for other languages in the future. This feature joins Google Assistant’s existing Voice Match feature, which enables the assistant to recognize your own voice in order to offer personalized information in households that have more than one person.


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