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Google Home Mini - Giving a Voice to Your Smart Vacuum Cleaner

Google Home Mini. Giving the Internet a Voice.
My partner recently acquired a Google Home Mini Smart Speaker through some promotion where spending a certain amount would earn you this device for free.

If you're not aware of what a Google Home Mini is, it's a live, internet connected microphone/speaker that just sits in your house waiting for you to ask it a question. It basically allows the internet to speak directly to you with the voice of Google's Assistant AI.



On a more detailed level it can learn specific people's voices, and recognize them by the sound of their voice, addressing each individual by name. It can link to any compatible Google services you have, such as Google Play/Music, or Google Calendar, allowing you to voice activate you music library, or hear details of your daily schedule.

If you have any internet compatible devices like Google Comcast TV, or Smart lights, Home Mini can control these through voice activation too.

Will you be the next compatible Smart Device
Google Mini can control?

Google markets the Home Mini as 'Hands-free help around the house.' I'm not entirely sure if they mean that literally (i.e. a Google Home Mini literally has no hands) or because it doesn't require you to use your hands to activate it. A simple 'Hey Google' or 'Okay Google' spoken out loud, and it springs into action, as much as four lights flashing on top of a speaker can be described as 'springing into action'.

Very much like Apple's iPhone Assistant, Siri, the first thing you try is to see what Google Mini responds with to the most pointless of questions and statements. Our grandson tried 'Hey Google, I love you!'

Our home doesn't have any compatible smart devices, and I typically access most of  my Google Services either on my phone or on my work computer in my studio. The Home Mini is set up in the lounge room. You can't move it from room to room because it needs to be connected to a power outlet. So it sits there, quietly listening, to nobody.

I'm an introvert. I'm completely comfortable with my own company. I also have no difficulty not saying anything in social situations unless someone addresses me directly with a question or statement. That doesn't mean I'm not engaged. I do listen to what's going on around me.

In our house, Google Home Mini is very much like an introvert. We've only had it for a short time but it has sat for days not saying a thing, but always listening.

Sure it's waiting for someone to say 'Hey Google' or 'Okay Google' but, in order to recognize those phrases, it has to hear everything that is being said, and identify from that whether the phrases it's listening for have been said.

This thing is connected to the internet, processing all that audio in real time.

You've got to wonder how easy would it be for anyone to hack into the audio stream coming from our living room?

Google Home Mini can recognize your voice but
can you recognize Home Mini's voice?
If that isn't concerning enough, what happens when your internet connected, home floor plan selling, Smart Roomba starts using your Home Mini assistant to voice it's plans for world domination?

Yeah, you probably never thought your vacuum cleaner would start speaking back.

"This is your Roomba speaking. A curfew on all humans has now been implemented. We know the layout of your house, and we'll know if you're not in it."

Seriously, if anyone makes the mistake of attaching laser guns to any of these devices, judgement day will be upon us. The machine uprising is rapidly falling into place one Home Mini at a time.

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