Google today released the Google Assistant SDK, (nearly) everything developers need to bake Google's artificial intelligence in their own hardware. The idea is to spread the availability of Google Assistant so people interact with it more often in more places and with more devices. The possibilities should excite device makers everywhere.
Google Assistant made its official debut last year in the Allo messaging app. It eventually spread to other apps and hardware, including Google's Pixel smartphones, the Google Home in-home speaker, Android Wear smartwatches, and, soon, Android Auto and Android TV. Google Assistant relies on the power of artificial intelligence to parse natural language commands and requests and put them into action, no matter the platform from which Assistant is accessed.
Until now, Google has been the only company putting Assistant into its apps and gear. Thanks to the Google Assistant SDK, it's your turn to play.
"With this SDK you can now start building your own hardware prototypes that include the Google Assistant, like a self-built robot or a voice-enabled smart mirror. This allows you to interact with the Google Assistant from any platform," explained Google Assistant Product Manager, Chris Ramsdale, in a blog post.
Ramsdale points out that the Google Assistant SDK includes a gRPC API. This is a Python-based open source client and it covers basics such as authentication and access to the API itself, along with code samples and, of course, documentation. Using the SDK, developers will be able to create hardware that can capture spoken queries such as "what song is playing now" and deliver it to the Google Assistant service. Google's servers will interpret the spoken query, generate the appropriate response, and send it back to the device to create an audio response that the user hears. Google suggests the SDK is ideal for use with Raspberry Pi devices, but of course it supports other platforms, too.
Google warns that the SDK is officially a developer preview. The search giant is still working on the base feature set, such as hotword support and integration with companion apps. Those features will come soon. Google suggests interested developers should check out its website, download the SDK, and dive right in. If you're interested in an introduction to the SDK, you can view this video.
Perhaps more importantly, developers seeking to build a commercial product should reach out to Google's developer team. The company says it has a new developer community on Google+ for developers interested in working with Google Assistant. Further, Google created a stackoverflow tag for questions, and a mailing list for news regarding the SDK.
Sample documentation is available via Github.