Nvidia Shield 4K
Nvidia has a new Shield streaming device that has 4K streaming capability, with built-in streaming support for 4K content via Netflix and other services. The new streamer is a much more powerful device, and also has Google Assistant built-in, with Nvidia looking for it to not only replace a cable box or other streamer, but also Amazon Echo, with ambient, always-on listening via an AI microphone peripheral that you can place throughout your house, called Nvidia Spot.
You can use multiple Spots throughout your house, which are small and plug directly into outlets for easy installation. Using these, you can get voice control via Assistant throughout your home.
Unlike Alexa on the Fire TV stick or Siri on the Apple TV, which require you to push a button and talk into the remote’s mic to get a response, Google Assistant on Nvidia Shield relies on a far-field mic built into the game controller. It’s always on and always listening for the “OK Google” awake phrase.
Other features available via Assistant on TVs include the ability to call up specific shows and apps, like “Play Stranger Things on Netflix,” for instance. You can also find content on YouTube, and string together commands using contextual language like “play the second one” to start the next item down from the top in returned results. Connected home services that work with Assistant will also be available, and you can get your Android TV to return information from web-based sources.
TV is just the next destination for Google Assistant – other categories of devices, including Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches and in-car infotainment systems will also be getting access to the service “over time,” according to Google.
The Google Assistant’s expanding its repertoire as an entertainer. At CES, Nvidia showed off the new Shield TV. Say the word and you can search for content, pause or rewind with your voice, all powered by Google’s software. The Shield TV will even display information if you search the internet, and it works with SmartThings to control your home. If you buy the $200 streamer, you won’t even have to be in the same room to talk to Google, thanks to a $50 add-on called the Nvidia Spot.
The Shield TV is out later this month. The Spot’s release date hasn’t been specified. An always listening controller with the Google Assistant built-in, the Nvidia Spot sure sounds a lot like a Google Home. The Spot looks different — a round orb as opposed to a white cylinder. You’ll also be able to easily move the Spot from room to room and even attach it to walls.