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Google Assistant SDK Now Available in Developer Preview

Google yesterday announced the availability of a developer preview of the new Google Assistant SDK, providing new ways for developers to work with the all-purpose, voice-activated assistant.

The one-year-old Google Assistant is part of the emerging class of "intelligent personal assistants" that can communicate with users and perform a wide range of tasks, from answering questions to controlling your home's electronics to playing music. That class of products includes competitors such as Microsoft's Cortana and Apple's Siri.

Google Assistant has been put to use in Google phones such as the Pixel, Android Wear and Android phones sporting the Marshmallow and Nougat OS versions, with more support upcoming.

With the new SDK, third-party developers can now create their own hardware-based projects that leverage Google Assistant technology, such as for Raspberry Pi-based devices, for example, or other platforms.

"Today, we're taking another step towards building out that ecosystem by introducing the developer preview of the Google Assistant SDK," said product manager Chris Ramsdale in a blog post yesterday. "With this SDK you can now start building your own hardware prototypes that include the Google Assistant, like a self-built robot or a voice-enabled smart mirror. This allows you to interact with the Google Assistant from any platform."

For example, Ramsdale said, developers can create apps that capture voice queries, pass them on to the Google Assistant service and get back audio responses.

To help with that, the SDK comes with a Python-based open source client -- gRPC -- to manage authentication and access to the API, samples and documentation.

In addition to the Python-based SDK, the gRPC and bindings provide more flexibility for developing in programming languages such as Java, Python, C#, Node.js and Ruby.

"This is a developer preview and we have a number of features in development including hotword support, companion app integration and more," Ramsdale said. "If you're interested in building a commercial product with the Google Assistant, we encourage you to reach out and contact us."

More developer guidance can be found in the following resources:

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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