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What’s new from Google Assistant: check-in, hotel reservations, language translation, and Google Maps

The business model of Google Assistant may shift from advertising to trading platforms

The announcement of the latest Google Assistant features and news at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) caused a lot of buzz. The most important of these is that users will be able to check in with United Airlines through Google Assistant and make reservations at multiple hotel chains.

Foreign Chinese translation

Also announced on the same day was the foreign language translation of the smart home assistant Google Home, as well as the integration of Google Assistant into Google Maps (Android and iOS versions). (This integration was already announced at the Google Developer Conference.)

The translation feature will be available in more than 25 languages and will be available on third-party smart displays supported by Google Home Hub and Google Assistant, as well as on the original Google Home and Home Mini voice-activated Bluetooth speakers.

When Google Home Hub enters translation mode, the translated sentence will appear on the split screen every time someone speaks to the monitor. Then the other person repeats the same steps, and a new conversation will be displayed. Google Assistant will also read the question or statement aloud. (Microsoft demonstrated a similar simultaneous translation feature at last year’s San Francisco conference.) )

Hotel booking and check-in

The ability to book a hotel will first work on a smartphone. The details are still unclear, but presumably with multiple images and voice-led. Google says it is in talks with a number of hotel chains and online booking providers, including Choice Hotels, AccorHotels and InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Expedia, Mirai and Travelclick. Google says its initial work is “just the first step in simplifying hotel bookings with Google Assistant.”

Check-in is only available for United Airlines flights for the time being, but Google says more partners will emerge.

It remains to be seen how hotels will actually be booked. Sometimes it’s easier to do it manually, and Google Assistant may be a little more convenient when booking a familiar hotel. In contrast, I believe that check-in should be widely used as it involves a relatively simple and straightforward procedure.

Use Google Assistant to run Google Maps

Google Assistant integration with Google Maps was announced last year. As we all know, voice interaction and search functions are already working. However, the integrated Google Maps will be able to do more with more features, allowing users to send text messages and play podcasts or music. The Android version also has additional features, including sending SMS via third-party mobile apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger).

Some high-tech columnists believe that adding Google Assistant to Google Maps for iOS is no different from Trojan Slaughter, because many iPhone users who still don’t use Google Assistant will start using the app without even knowing it.

Why it’s worth paying attention to

Many claim, but with little evidence, that by 2020, more than half of all searches will be conducted by voice. At that time, the ubiquitous Google Assistant will definitely become an indispensable tool. Therefore, Google’s announcement brings out two things that market participants should pay attention to.

First, Google is working hard to make Google Assistant (and Google Home) a trading platform. This is very important for market participants. Second, if Google Assistant is getting more searches and queries, it’s even more important to optimize your lists (for offline businesses) and create informative featured snippets – because fewer people will pay attention to traditional search results.

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