Google is adding voice commands to Hangouts Meet in an effort to make its teleconferencing solution more intuitive to use, the company said Tuesday, having announced the new feature at its Next conference in San Francisco, California. The improvement is specifically aimed at the firm's Hangouts Meet hardware program introduced last November as an all-in-one communications platform for enterprise customers. The initiative itself supports both first- and third-party hardware, with Google now labeling it a success and reiterating its commitment to improving the toolset moving forward.
With the addition of voice commands, users can simply tell their Hangouts Meet devices to "start a meeting" with a specified individual or group after activating the company's voice interface with the "Hey, Google" or "OK, Google" trigger phrases. As a result, creating and joining video conferences via Hangouts Meet should become a more straightforward affair and allow users to concentrate on communicating with others instead of wasting time on technicalities. The announcement is yet another part of the company's efforts to become a more prominent force in the B2B market and hence dovetails with its recent cloud push that allowed it to diversify its business even amid intense competition from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure platform.
Over the last several years, Google repeatedly signaled it sees voice interfaces as a crucial component of the future of consumer-oriented computing, which is a large part of the reason why it committed such significant resources to Google Assistant. The mysterious Fuchsia OS that's reportedly meant to eventually replace both Android and Chrome OS is said to be developed with voice interaction from the ground up and may hence deliver a more intuitive voice control experience than what the company's existing operating systems are capable of. Hangouts Meet voice commands are already available on all supported hardware as of today, with Google promising a more extensive set of instructions will soon be made available to its enterprise users.