Google is opening up Google Home for third-party developers who want to engage with customers through the voice-activated Google Assistant.
Developers can now build "Conversation Actions " for Google Home -- Google's voice-activated speaker, which competes with Amazon's Echo -- using Actions on Google, the developer platform for the Google Assistant. Once a Conversation Action is ready, users simply need to ask Google Home for a specific action by name to be connected immediately -- there's no need to install an app or enable a skill.
Experts in natural language processing can use the Conversation API to process raw strings of spoken text from the user, and then they can use the Actions SDK to build an action. However, for developers who don't want to process transcribed speech themselves, there are tools integrated with Actions on Google to help. Google has a number of development partners, including conversational interaction development tools API.AI and Gupshup, analytics tools DashBot and VoiceLabs.
Jason Douglas, PM Director for Actions on Google, spelled out in a blog post by it's important for Google to create a smooth developer experience: "To be a truly successful Assistant, it should be able to connect users across the apps and services in their lives," he wrote. "This makes enabling an ecosystem where developers can bring diverse and unique services to users through the Google Assistant really important."
Eventually, Google will enable developers to integrate their services across multiple Assistant services, including Pixel phones and Google Allo. The company also plans to enable other platform capabilities, such as support for purchases and bookings. Developers can request to become an early access partner for upcoming platform features.