With I/O just a matter of days away, Google’s gone on the offensive with Assistant. In a blog post this morning, the company is talking up its smart home play in a major way, noting an admitted pretty impressive bump in hardware compatibility. By its count, the number of compatible devices recently hit the 5,000 mark.
That number is up from 1,500 in January — an admittedly impressive jump in a short time frame. That, in itself, was a pretty decent jump since Google Home launched in late 2016 with little to no third-party device compatibility.
And, of course, that number’s set to grow quite a bit in the coming months. We’ll likely get more information on that at the big show next week, but a number of brands are just over the horizon, including Logitech’s Harmony hubs and Dish’s Hopper receivers, the latter of which will be getting Assistant functionality in the coming month. Google says it’s also working with more partners to bake Assistant directly into more smart TVs.
The company’s recently added a number of security devices to its list, including the Nest doorbell, which was the first product to add Assistant-based smart doorbell notifications. ADT, First Alert, Vivint Smart Home, August and Schlage will all be adding Assistant functionality down the road, as well.
The smart home is currently the key battlefield for smart assistants. Amazon made an important step in that direction with the addition of a hub to the Echo Plus, and Apple has been laying the groundwork for some time with its HomeKit offering and, more recently, the HomePod. In many ways, smart speakers are a means to end as companies push to make their assistant the centerpiece of the connected home experience.
Google also recently announced plans to follow in Amazon’s footsteps by making investments in early-stage startups that utilize Assistant.