8 Oct 2016

Google take over your home...and your phone!

From This Way Up, 12:30 pm on 8 October 2016
Google Home

Google Home Photo: Google

Google launches its new Pixel phone and a digital home assistant called - you guessed it - Home. Now search is anywhere and everywhere.

Plus Facebook is hoping we're ready to buy and sell stuff in its Marketplace. It offers a place to trade, but no way to pay for the goods, or to rate them.

Peter Griffin predicts Google's Home – a box containing voice recognition and a clever speaker system which sits in your lounge room – will change how people interact with technology.

Amazon pioneered this system with its Echo device, but Home has access to a lot more information, in particular the Google search database.

Google's Pixel phone

Google's Pixel phone Photo: Google

Google's Pixel is the first phone the company has branded and designed from the ground up, but what’s most interesting about it is the very intelligent voice recognition, Peter says, which rivals Apple’s Siri.

“Now they’re actually saying, instead of having Samsung and everyone else running Android and representing our services in the world, we’re gonna control it very much like Apple does.”

Google plans to build voice recognition into every device it creates to gather more personal data for its knowledge graph, Peter says.

Facebook Marketplace logo

Facebook Marketplace logo Photo: Facebook

Peter describes Facebook’s new (and free) trading section Marketplace as “pretty much the wild west of buying and selling”.

On Marketplace you can buy and sell second-hand products within a 100-mile radius. Deals are negotiated over Facebook Messenger.

Peter says that unlike Trade Me, Facebook does not have a paying mechanism nor a rating system for sellers and or anyone on the ground in New Zealand.

“It doesn’t have all the protections and the trust built into it that the likes of Trade Me does.”

Our marketplace market is a healthy one, Peter says. with hundreds of thousands of people using buy-sell-trade forums around the country.

“It’s totally unregulated, it’s not very visible. I’m sure Inland Revenue is really interested in what’s going on here.”