Google's hardware efforts have a heavy dose of Google Assistant and artificial intelligence, as the company is scurrying to enlist its developer and partner base to build out functions to connect everything from Google Home to Pixel smartphones.
The company said Google Assistant will be its next big open platform along with search, advertising, maps, Android, and Play.
Make no mistake that Google Assistant's ecosystem has some catching up to do relative to Amazon's Alexa. Amazon is dangling $2.5 million in front of developers who can advance conversational AI. Alexa also has a broad ecosystem and more than 3,000 skills along with partners such as GE Appliances, publishers, and a host of others like Uber.
In early December, Google will allow developers to complete tasks via Google Assistant through direct or conversational actions. If Google Home is going to get traction, it will need to offer a better value proposition in the smart home than Amazon's Echo, which has a big head start.
These actions, which are similar to what Amazon has built out with its Alexa and Amazon Echo ecosystem, will enable Google Assistant to fetch information, open apps, and ultimately have conversations.
Actions by Google will also connect its conversation actions to its API.ai effort. These actions will be delivered either through voice, text, and some hybrid of the two.
The Embedded Google Assistant SDK will be aimed at hardware vendors who can integrate the technology into various devices. The SDK will launch next year.
Google's hardware event: First peek at Pixel smartphones and more