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Plans had been unfolding last week for the launch of Google Home in the UK. The step of launching in the UK after the US seems to be a natural path for English voice products, whether that be the Home, the Echo, or Siri (which seemed to be concurrent with the US).

Retraining NLU and ASR for geography is fairly straightforward once the infrastructure is in place. This is especially true for Google Home that uses Google Assistant as Google Now / Voice Actions had been available for years in UK English.

More challenging is porting local services to run as voice only. Getting local listings setup, being able to do local food or product ordering — knowing rules for municipalities. In this regard, Google is far ahead of Amazon and others.

Perhaps the next frontier for Google isn’t in going to more countries but becoming hyper knowledgeable about local. What’s within one kilometer of the user? What’s weather like there? What specials might be going on? Maybe there’s an event? This may breed interesting experiments with push notifications to Google Home.

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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