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New LG V30S ThinQ Smartphone Adds Custom Google Assistant Commands

LG announced its new AI initiatives at the end of 2017. The first announcement included the new ThinQ smart speaker that was complemented by ThinQ-powered TVs and a forthcoming smart display which were demonstrated at the annual CES convention in Las Vegas. ThinQ is LG’s AI solution and the company is putting it in everything. The latest product is the new LG V30S ThinQ smartphone on display at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona. Most of the AI features focus on camera features and image recognition. The device takes advantage of voice and has created 32¬†customized voice commands for Google Assistant. Engadget has a very good review and had this to say about the voice integration:

For the most part, it works exactly the way you’d expect it to: throw an ‘OK, Google’ or a ‘Hey, Google’ at it, and the Assistant cheerily responds and takes your requests. The difference is, the V30S ThinQ … is the first Android phone we’ve tested with device-specific Google Assistant commands.

Chris Velazco went on to liken the ThinQ features and implementations to what Samsung is attempting to do with Bixby. Granted Bixby is AI that includes its own voice assistant, but using Google Assistant for some voice interactions is only a small difference. The features and user experience that LG is attempting to implement are very similar to Samsung’s Bixby strategy. And, like Bixby, LG is pushing ThinQ combined with Google Assistant into appliances as well as smartphones.

Native Google Assistant Customization

This is an interesting development. Google Assistant has a broad set of features, but many devices have specialized features that voice is well positioned to enable. There are many organizations that have built custom Google Assistant apps that essentially extend the voice assistant’s capabilities. This is similar but the implementation is different. It is a native integration that doesn’t require the user to invoke an Assistant app. A user simply needs to wake up Google Assistant and ask for the feature. This approach is more like the customized features enabled for Google Assistant on TVs running Android OS.

The 32 customized voice commands for the V30S that range from starting a specific video or photo style to conducting an image or shopping search. More important, it complements LG’s AI features by making Google Assistant tailored to the LG phone experience. You should expect to see more of these types of integrations as voice assistants move beyond general purpose utilities to become core components for a wide variety of devices.

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