When the Google Home Mini went on sale last Christmas for $29 each, I snapped up three of them — one for my mom (at 83, she’s forgetful, so I thought it would help), my future mother-in-law (though apparently my future sister-in-law uses it more), and one for the house, because . . . well, they were $29.
I like it, mostly. Sure, we can use it to set reminders and appointments and such. Honestly? We mostly use it as a clock — the most asked question is, “Hey Google. What time is it?” It’s handy for checking weather forecasts and playing music, too. Great to set a timer to make sure the Tombstone pizza doesn’t burn.
I must admit, I haven’t come to terms yet with the fact that my 11-month-old son is apparently going to grow up in a house where it’s normal to talk to a hockey puck and the hockey puck answers with useful information. There’s an existential question wrapped in a parental dilemma in there somewhere.
And then, I watched this video above. It features a Google Exec at the company’s I/O conference, and he’s demonstrating Duplex, which takes this personal assistant thing to the next level — having a phone conversation with a real person.
In this case, Google Assistant actually makes a phone call to a hair salon to set up an appointment. Then it does three supercool (and super scary) things:
- She changed her voice;
- She added a few “uhs” and “ums” to sound more human;
- And then she had a FULL CONVERSATION until the appointment is set.
Watch it for yourself. Pick your jaw up off the floor.
And don’t forget — you’ve got a hair appointment at 10 a.m.