Google has begun testing a new feature called Google Guacamole which will allow you to use voice assistant without the standard phrase “Hey, Ggoogle”. Users of Google Assistant will be able to execute fast voice tasks such as answering calls or shutting off alarms and timers without saying the trigger words.
Google has yet to confirm the development of such feature, however it has already appeared to some people in the settings list in the Google app beta 12.5 running Android 11. Unfortunately, for the time being, the feature is probably only available to employees who can test it in real conditions.
Despite all of this, Guacamole doesn’t feel like a completely new feature. That’s because the engineers at Mountain View have already embedded a mechanism that works similarly into Google Home speakers and Nest Hub devices.
As always with the new features added to the voice assistant, there may be concerns about privacy and the collection of voice data. As for now, the Guacamole will most likely work just like a standard “Hey, Google” feature. The Google Assistant is programmed to remain in standby mode until enabled, such as when you say “Hey, Google.” In standby mode, it processes brief audio snippets (a few seconds) to detect activation phrase. If no activation is found, the audio clips are not sent or saved to Google.
Guacamole will probably work on the same principle, but will be triggered when for example you receive a phonecall or when there is an alarm and only then collect the voice data. In such manner there is no need for any worries regarding the privacy and all future users may rest assured that none of their data will be sent to Google without their consent.