NVIDIA SHIELD TV adds Google Assistant
NVIDIA rolled out a surprise software upgrade this morning for SHIELD TV, adding Google Assistant.
The feature gives hands free control to the 4K media streamer. You can ask it questions, command it to search of new shows or fire up an app like PlayStation Vue.
The update came with the SHIELD Experience Upgrade 6.0. “And like SHIELD, your Google Assistant will continue to improve,” NVIDIA said in a statement this morning. SHIELD will soon work as a SmartThings Hub when paired with a SmartThings Link.
Meet Google Assistant: sports scores, trivia on favorite actors
By using your natural voice, many of same commands that work on Google Home are now on SHIELD TV. It can search apps on SHIELD and control your media with voice commands like “pause” or “play Game of Thrones.”
There’s a big difference between the answers you get from Google Assistant on SHIELD vs Google Home.
By taking advantage of the TV screen, you get an enhanced visual response to your questions.This show-don’t-tell experience in the living room means you can ask “who plays Daenerys Targaryen” and quickly discover that Emilia Clarke was also Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys.
Visual context also means that when you ask how your favorite team is doing, you’ll get the latest score, plus divisional standings, onscreen. Other visual enhancements include: seeing items on a menu, and being shown different purchase options when shopping.
You can browse movies and TV shows, but you can also ask it questions, or ask to see your Google Photos: sharing photos from your trip overseas or the latest hiking adventure is simple and fun to relive on the big screen. Ask your Google Assistant what’s on your agenda for the day, and rather than a long-winded audio response, integration with Calendar means you’ll see what’s on your schedule when asking about your day at a glance.
The Google Assistant on SHIELD works with supported Assistant devices. This comes in handy in a number of ways, like when you’re watching a movie and want to dim the lights.
Google Assistant brings hands-free control to SHIELD TV
There are two ways to trigger your Google Assistant – by pressing the microphone button on the remote (the SHIELD button on the controller), or with a hands-free command: you can just say, “Ok Google,” from within shouting distance of the SHIELD controller.
SHIELD controller’s built-in microphone and low-power ambient listening capabilities activate Google Assistant with just your voice. With SHIELD’s hands-free capability, you can leave your remote on the table and use speech to enjoy TV.
Here are some examples of commands that were featured today on the Google blog:
- “Play Game of Thrones”— your Assistant can play a wide variety of content, from movies and TV shows to YouTube clips and music. With HBO NOW, Netflix and YouTube, you can instantly watch something by asking for it by name or, if you aren’t sure what to watch, try “show me movies about climbing Mount Everest.” You can also ask your Assistant to “play some music” or listen to a specific song on YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify or Pandora.
- “Play business news”— catch up on what’s going on in the news, from business to tech to entertainment. And once you’re caught up, prepare for your own day by asking “what’s on my agenda for today?”
- “Talk to Fitstar”— apps for the Google Assistant are also now available on Android TV, so you can talk to Fitstar for a quick home workout, Tender for a cocktail recommendation, Wall Street Journal for a market update and more.
- “Order more popcorn”— stock up on binge-watching snacks right from the comfort of your couch. With Google Express, you can shop and reorder from Walgreens, Walmart and many other stores.
- “Turn off”— it’s as simple as that. With your Assistant on Android TV you can turn up the volume, pause, control your smart home devices and more, just with your voice.
SHIELD becoming AI hub with SmartThings
SHIELD is about to become a hub for any AI home devices by incorporating SmartThings’ hub core technology. When paired with a SmartThings Link, SHIELD works as a SmartThings Hub, integrating with hundreds of Works With SmartThings certified partner products on the market. Using SHIELD, you’ll be able to perform tasks like turning on your lights, adjusting the thermostat and much more.
It also means Routines can be set up in your smart home, letting you instantly trigger customizable actions at different times you choose, like when you’re asleep, awake, on vacation, at the office, out shopping or back home. SmartThings will remember all the actions you’ve personalized and perform them exactly when you say so, automatically, with the SmartThings app or with a single voice command.
Three Months Free of Ad-Free Music on YouTube
To celebrate launching the Google Assistant on SHIELD, new and existing SHIELD owners will receive three months of YouTube Red for free. YouTube Red is everything you already love about YouTube, with no interruptions getting in the way. No ads, no breaks, no worries, no matter where you are. It’s YouTube uninterrupted. Visit YouTube Red for more details.
SmartThings Link, the key to unlocking SHIELD as a SmartThings Hub, is coming soon. Priced at $39.99 regularly, SmartThings Link will launch at a promotional price of $14.99.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble