TV that talks back: Google Assistant comes to Nvidia Shield
Today Google Assistant arrives on NVidea Shield, giving the streaming, gaming, TV box many of the same capabilities as a Google Home speaker.
Now you can talk into thin air and Shield will respond on your TV, open and control apps or even operate smart home devices.
Unlike a Google Home, Shield doesn't have a speaker built in so it relies on the speakers in your TV or home theater system to talk back.
And how does it listen?
Through the game controller.
A little microphone on top of the controller is always listening for the okay google or hey google wake words, just like on a google home speaker.
My brief test it worked well when I left it on the table or otherwise exposed but,don't expect good results if you leave it inside your cabinet or too close to your tv speaker.
And a course you can always use assistant by talking in the shield's included remote Either way, numerous voice commands are supported, including the ability to turn on and off the TV, launch apps and simply saying the name of a show to start watching immediately.
For this to work, the app has to be supported.
HBO and Netflix are, for example, but Amazon, Voodoo and Plex are not yet.
YouTube integration is excellent and you can also launch music videos and look for clips using voice too.
And Google assistant [UNKNOWN] works with music apps like Google music and Spotify.
You can even play songs with the TV turned off, but you'll have to leave your sound bar or receiver on.
Shield also integrates Google assistant with smart things for smart home control.
A separate USB dongle coming soon for 30 bucks attached to the device and add [UNKNOWN] and z wave radios to command numerous smart things geared including lights, lines, and even garage door sensors.
You can also control plenty of smart home devices that are compatible with Google Home directly.
Nvidia will also come out with a little plug-in device soon called Nvidia Spot that works as a speaker and far-field mic, so you don't have to rely on a controller.
Shield is relatively expensive at 200 bucks for the version that includes the game controller, but even before Google Assistant was one of the most capable living room devices on the market.
Now it's even better.
The free upgrade is available today for all shield devices.
Although to use it hands free, you'll need to have the new controller.