Google has an uphill battle against the Amazon Echo with its Google Home smart speaker, but a new feature could help it get an edge.
One of the most frustrating problems with many smart home speakers is that they only work with one account, but Google is apparently working on multi-user support for Google Home.
Moreover, Google Home might not only support multiple user accounts, but it might also be able to distinguish between voices thanks to voice recognition.
Google Home Multi-User Support With Voice Recognition
Google has yet to announce this new feature, but Android Police found precious hints in the code of the latest Google Home app version. A code teardown revealed references that Google Home might soon be able to recognize voices and would need to be trained to do that, which indicates that the smart speaker could allow for seamless switching between accounts by automatically recognizing who is speaking.
That said, it's important to note that such teardowns offer some hints of what could be on the table, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the potential features will actually be implemented. It's just speculation based on tidbits of information and not all planned or tested features make it to the final version.
For now, Google has declined to comment on whether it is indeed adding multi-user support to Google Home, but said it's always working to develop new experiences for the smart speaker. Nevertheless, the company says it has no specific updates to announce at this point.
Even so, adding multi-user support would be a natural step and a welcome change, since working with only a single account is one of the biggest limitations of Google Home and other such smart home speakers.
Google Home vs Amazon Echo
Google Home's biggest rival, the Amazon Echo, technically supports multiple user accounts already, albeit users have to manually switch between them. Google Home could get a considerable edge if it offers multi-user support with voice recognition to seamlessly switch between accounts automatically, although news earlier this week revealed that Amazon is also working on voice recognition.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Time reported that Amazon has been working on getting Alexa - the smart assistant at the core of its Amazon Echo - to identify individual users based on their voices. The feature is reportedly in the final stages and Amazon is just working on some implementation issues, added the report.
Should the Times' report turn out to be accurate, Amazon could actually beat Google to the punch and offer voice recognition first, but it remains to be seen. Neither Google nor Amazon have officially confirmed plans to add voice recognition for multi-user support on their smart speakers, so it's mostly rumors, hints, and wishful thinking at this point.
Nevertheless, should both Google Home and Amazon Echo get the feature, the race would definitely heat up and take things to the next level when it comes to what smart home speakers can do.
Multi-user support with voice recognition would be particularly useful in households with multiple occupants and would surely make the gadgets more appealing to prospective customers.