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Google Home will soon respond on your TV screen with Chromecast

Voice commands can show your calendar, the weather and more thanks to Google's $35 Chromecast dongle.

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Google/screenshot by David Katzmaier

Looking for more integration between voice control and your TV? Google is here to help.

Today the company announced a new capability that combines its Google Home speaker and its Chromecast TV dongle.

A TV with Chromecast plugged in will soon be able to display information to supplement Google Home's voice responses. On stage at Google I/O, the command "OK Google, show me my calendar" caused a calendar to appear on the TV. A follow-up command asking about local weather pulled up a forecast.

Google's voice recognition technology will enable different users' calendars to be shows according to which voice Google Home detects.

Google Home can already control Chromecast to perform searches of YouTube and some other apps, as well as turn on and off the TV. The speaker can perform similar controls of Chromecast built-in TVs like Vizio SmartCast models.

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Google/screenshot by David Katzmaier

But Google will soon add more contextual, general capabilities. Asking "OK Google, what's on YouTube?" will display a personalized list of choices. You can also ask to show YouTube's Watch Later list or play individual videos.

The integration will also work with YouTube TV, Google's new $35 TV streaming service. Asking "OK Google, what's on my DVR?" brings up the list from that service's cloud DVR, and further voice commands can play individual shows or movies.

Amazon's Fire TV system offers similar functionality and integration with Alexa, Amazon's own voice assistant on devices like the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Edition TVs. But to use its voice features you'll need to speak into a Fire TV remote's microphone, not into thin air like with Google Home/Chromecast. So far there's no native integration between Amazon's own Alexa speakers, namely the Echo and Dot, and its Fire TV devices.

We look forward to checking out Google Home's new Chromecast integrations soon.