Google Home can now support as many as six accounts by recognizing differences in the voices of different users.
Before, each device could be connected to only one Google account. This meant that no matter who asked the device for personal information — such as upcoming calendar appointments — the information of the registered account would be pulled.
Google has announced the Home device can now be set up to distinguish among the voices of users, meaning it can provide different information depending on which member of a household asks a question.
This works through voice recognition technology configured when you set up your account, during which process the software detects characteristics in a user’s voice.
Users are required to say the phrases “Okay, Google” and “Hey, Google” twice each when connecting their Google account (usually the same as their Gmail account) to the Home mobile app.
There’s still room for error in terms of recognition. “We’re continuing to fine-tune our voice recognition systems and will get better over time,” a Google spokesperson said.
Users started noticing the change being rolled out a couple weeks ago. Amazon’s Alexa, the software that runs on Echo and Dot devices, already supports multiple users, but technology to distinguish between voices is reportedly still in development.
The new feature won’t prevent Home from responding to voices of users without accounts. A guest, for example, will still be able to ask the device for general information but should not be able to access information from personal accounts.