Whereas most smartwatches have a raise to wake feature in which the screen lights up when the person lifts up their wrist, the Pixel will apparently mimic this and offer a raise to talk feature.
It's pretty self-explanatory. Just by raising the phone, Google Assistant can be invoked, and it'll start to listen to whatever commands the user spits out. Simply lift the phone, ask a question or make a command, and that'll prompt Google Assistant.
Google has experimented with different ways to launch Google Assistant. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL from 2017, for example, triggered Google Assistant just by squeezing the phones' sides thanks to the pressure-sensitive Active Edge.
A More Intuitive Way Of Launching Google Assistant
Next time around, Google wants the process to be more seamless, effortless, and intuitive. As 9to5Google reports, the raise to talk feature will make launching Google Assistant more straightforward, and more importantly, voice-free. No need to say, "Hey Google" or "OK Google" — just raise the phone and start talking.
The person's speech has to come immediately. Otherwise, Google Assistant will ignore it, and it will not register as a command. Google is apparently very conscious about the privacy implications of this feature and notes that voice recognition happens on-device only, meaning nothing gets sent to Google's servers in the process.
Lifting a phone and making commands is, on paper, much more intuitive than squeezing its edges or saying a wake word. But of course, this all depends on how well the feature is able to distinguish the user actually making commands. There could be an instance where, say, the user doesn't intend to invoke Google Assistant but it shows up anyway. This could either be extremely useful or very annoying. Even still, it does bring Google Assistant one step closer to always being available in the background.
Raise To Talk Google Assistant
9to5Google says raise to wake is currently being developed as part of both the next-generation Google Assistant and the flagship Made by Google phones. What isn't clear is whether or not it'll be available at launch. The Apple Watch has a similar raise to talk feature that automatically invokes Siri, but it doesn't always work well, as the watch needs to be pretty close to the user's mouth to have it recognize they're making commands. How accurate this version of Google Assistant is remains to be seen.
Thoughts about raise to talk for Google Assistant? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!