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While much of the news about voice can seem downright futuristic, it’s usually the incremental updates that lay the foundation, like the recent announcement that Hulu for Android TV now supports Google Assistant voice commands.

It’s the little things

You can now use Google Assistant on your Android TV to:

  • Play or pause your show
  • Rewind or fast-forward
  • Skip TV shows in a playlist.

TV and Voice

Companies like Comcast already introduced remotes that use voice commands several years ago, but even the remote as a form factor will go away. With devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home usually located within a speaking distance of a television, they’re perfectly positioned (literally) to serve as an interface for our TVs, DVRs, and gaming consoles.

Amazon also recently announced a Video Skills API for Alexa, allowing developers to integrate Alexa to control playback functionality for video apps and devices. Every cable company can integrate with Alexa for their set-top boxes.

Beyond just becoming a deeper part of a user’s life, using voice assistants to control the TV has an even bigger value. Whether it’s Google Assistant, Alexa, or some other third-party voice platform, any company handling voice requests will know exactly what people are watching. Considering that both Amazon and Google have their own streaming services, this is an incredibly powerful user activity to be able to track.

Foundation First

Much like asking for the music or weather, it is these types of frequent daily use cases for voice interfaces that will drive voice to become a primary form of digital interaction everywhere. As voice experiences become more seamless, the potential is very exciting.

Mark Webster

Founder and CEO of Sayspring. Designer. Developer. Follow me on Twitter at @markcwebster.