Earlier today at NVIDIA’s CES 2017 press event, NVIDIA announced the launch of its new SHIELD. Along with that announcement came the confirmation that the new SHIELD will come equipped with Google Assistant. However, it will not be the only Android TV device to gain integrated access to Google Assistant as shortly after the NVIDIA announcement, Google announced that the Google Assistant is coming to Android TV in general. That is, while also confirming that at a later time, Google Assistant will be rolling out to other platforms as well. Some of the platforms specifically named, include Android Wear 2.0-powered smartwatches and Android-powered in-car infotainment systems.
In the blog post, Google notes some of the ways in which an integrated version of the Google Assistant will be of benefit to Android TV devices owners. Examples include, being able to simply ask the Android TV device to play a specific title. Likewise, the ability to search and discover new content will also be far more easier. However, they are just the basic examples of what Google Assistant will be able to do, as the more connected to your home your Android TV device is, the more capable Google Assistant will be at connecting to those devices – much like with Google Home. As you could get your Android TV device to ‘dim the lights’ or provide advanced directions to somewhere. Although, how you interact with some of the more advanced functionality will depend on your device. For instance as the new SHIELD comes with hands-free capabilities, therefore, so will its Google Assistant functionality. If the Android TV device cannot make use of hands-free control, then Google Assistant will need to be controlled via the remote or controller.
In terms of when you can expect Google Assistant to come to your Android TV device, Google has confirmed that following the launch of the new NVIDIA SHIELD, an over-the-air update will be rolling out to all Android TV devices in the US. However, the Android TV device will need to be running either Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or Android 7.0 (Nougat) for it to be able to make use of the newly-added Google Assistant functionality.