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May 17, 2017

Google Home and the Google Assistant gain support for GE appliances

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you have a GE appliance and Google Home, good news: Clothes washing is now hands-free.


Google Home, Google’s AI-powered speaker, isn’t just good for summoning cars and ordering pizza. It can control a growing number of smart appliances (like Honeywell products and Nest thermostats), connected locks (August deadbolts), and LED bulbs (Lifx and Philips Hue), among other devices. And on Wednesday, May 17, it added yet another ecosystem to its roster: General Electric.

Starting on May 17, integration with GE’s Geneva platform will go live for the Google Home and the Google Assistant, Google’s AI-powered helper on Android smartphones, set-top boxes, and smartwatches. Like the app for Amazon Alexa that GE debuted last year, you’ll be able to delegate tasks like preheating the oven, checking if the dishes are clean, and asking if a dryer load’s finished via a Google Home speaker.

The list of supported commands includes:

  • OK Google, ask Geneva Home to make hot water
  • OK Google, ask Geneva Home to turn on Sabbath mode
  • OK Google, ask Geneva Home if the dishes are done
  • OK Google, ask Geneva Home to preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • OK Google, ask Geneva Home is my laundry clean?

“Everyone’s busy these days and our consumers are looking for simpler and more convenient ways to control their home, especially when busy in the kitchen or working around the house,” Liz VerSchure, vice president responsible for GE Appliances’ connected strategy, said in a press release. “Integrating our full suite of connected appliances with the Google Assistant makes it easier for owners to control their appliances and get on with their day.”

Since Google Home and the Google Assistant made their respective debuts last year, they’ve only gotten better at handling smart home commands. In March, WeMo integration brought voice control to Belkin’s collection of internet-enabled thermostats, lightbulbs, and outlets. More recently, Wink finalized device support for light, temperature, and lock commands.

New recipe and food features make it perfect for the kitchen. Google Home can place grocery orders via Google Express, Google’s retail-to-door delivery service. And Google Home’s new recipe feature sources step-by-step guides from Food Network, Wine Guide, and elsewhere.

In perhaps bigger news, Google-powered smart home controls — and voice, by extension — are coming to more devices. The Google Assistant SDK, which launched in April, allows enterprising hardware developers to plug the Google Assistant into any device that meets a core set of requirements.

It might be perceived as a preemptive measure against Amazon’s upcoming Echo Show, an AI-powered speaker with a full-color touchscreen, video camera, and messaging features. But it’s not just Amazon. Microsoft partnered with Harmon Kardon to build a speaker powered by Cortana, its voice-controlled assistant. And rumor has it that Apple is working on a Siri-powered hardware assistant — reportedly with Beats speaker technology, AirPlay integration, and HomeKit compatibility.

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