Google TV Adds Personalized Recommendations and Google Assistant Connection
Google TV owners can set up profiles for every individual in the household, get personalized recommendations from their Google Assistant, and access their own watchlist more easily. The update also personalizes the ambient mode screensaver with the weather, news, and other information chosen based on the user’s previous activity.
Personal profiles set up on Google TV mark what the viewer watches and funnel that into coming up with suggestions for other things to watch. Parents can set up profiles for their kids that will also offer ideas on what to watch, circumscribed according to any restrictions the parents put in place. The profiles all have their own watchlist as well, so the individual household members don’t have to hunt through everybody’s list to find the content they’ve saved for later. Once logged into their own profile, viewers can ask Google Assistant what they should watch to hear the recommendations. And each Google account has its own watchlist so that content you want to watch later will show up in your own profile and stay separate from other users’ lists.
“To keep everyone in the house happy — whether that’s your partner, kids, other family members or roommates — we’re bringing features to Google TV that will make TV a little more tailored for whoever’s sitting on the couch,” Google TV director of product management and user experience Rob Caruso explained in a blog post about the updates. “Google TV profiles let everyone in your home enjoy their own personalized space with their Google Account. With a personalized profile, you’ll get TV show and movie recommendations just for you, easy access to your personal watchlist and help from your Google Assistant.”
Google Assistant can also link to an account to the TV profile for information about their schedule, local weather, and related insights by asking Google Assistant to “show me my day.” The personal profile also informs the ambient mode for when the TV is idle. News stories based on previous interests, sports scores, and tips will share the screen with the images pulled from a Google Photos account. The profiles and ambient mode update are coming first to Chromecast with Google TV and the Sony and TCL-built Google TV.
The personalized TV experience tied to an overall Google account fits with the company’s efforts to connect everything powered by Google Assistant. It matches similar efforts by Amazon to boost Alexa’s TV features, including recommendations and background information related to whatever content is playing. Google Assistant started integrating with Verizon FiOS earlier this year and has long had partnerships with the DISH network, while Samsung smart TVs gained Google Assistant as an option alongside Bixby last year. This update may encourage those using Google as their smart home platform in other contexts to go for it with their television choices as well.