Google's virtual assistant teams with publishers to offer help in the kitchen
Google has expanded the capability of Google Assistant — the search giant's answer to Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri — to provide help for budding chefs. Google Home users can now use the intelligent assistant to get step-by-step spoken instructions on 5 million recipes, the company announced in a blog post.
The cooking assistant comes with a number of publisher partnerships, providing access to Bon Appetit magazine, The New York Times and Food Network recipes, Google said. The service allows people to find recipes with Google's search function on any mobile device or the Google Assistant on an Android smartphone, and save them for later use on Google Home.
Cooks that need more inspiration can ask about a specific food, and the Google Assistant will provide a recipe to get started. The numbered steps can be replayed with voice commands like "Okay, Google, repeat" or “Okay, Google, what's step three?"
Voice-activated help in the kitchen is a great idea for people who have their hands full with cooking ingredients or sharp utensils. Google Assistant provides the ability to get recipe instructions while playing music, searching the internet and setting a timer.
Intelligent assistants have been finding their way into the kitchen with capabilities that improve by the month. Google Assistant takes virtual help to the next level with two-way conversations and step-by-step instructions on preparing recipes. That capability is impressive compared with other intelligent assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which can provide recipes based on the ingredients on-hand, cocktail instructions, food and wine pairings and calorie counts.
The news comes as Google and Amazon increasingly go head-to-head in the home virtual assistant space. Amazon has the early lead but Google is clearly leveraging its impressive existing relationships to offer new user-friendly services, as the recipe example shows. Amazon is putting up a fight to retain its leadership, having recently opened the door wider to manufacturers and brands in an effort to have Alexa integrated into as many devices and apps as possible. No matter who gains the upper hand here, one thing is for certain: Marketers need to be thinking now about how to develop voice-driven connected experiences.