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Google Home now recognizes your individual voice


See Google Home, Alexa's newest competitor

Virtual assistants just got a lot more personal.

Google Home — the company’s voice-controlled smart speaker that plays music, searches Google (GOOG) and lists recipes — can now tell the difference between you and others based on voice.

As of Thursday the square, cylindrical device will now recognize partners, roommates, kids and guests who come to visit. now supports multiple accounts. Also, Google Home users can now create up to six different accounts on their devices.

So when you say the trigger phrases “OK Google” or “Hey Google,” the Home will listen for who is asking and provide answers based on your voice. For example, Google Assistant will know what’s on your calendar, what your reminders are and what your commute looks like.

It’s a helpful update for users who live in multi-person homes, and the feature gives Google a boost over Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) in personalizing virtual assistants, as the Echo still doesn’t have voice recognition.

Related: Google blocks invasive Burger King ad from taking over Google Home

To learn your voice, Google Home will ask you to speak the key phrases that “wake up” the device. Technology embedded in the Google Home analyzes different vocal characteristics, pinpointing what makes your voice different from other people’s.

It will also know when someone talking to it doesn’t have a profile, preventing personal data being read aloud to someone it doesn’t belong to. For instance, if a guest asks what someone’s calendar looks like, Google won’t read it.

Users have to set up multi-account in the Google Home app under “Link your account.” And specific features, like personalized playlists, must be set up individually.

CNNMoney (San Francisco) First published April 20, 2017: 12:00 PM ET



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