Google Assistant is everywhere from phones to laptops, headphones to TVs, and even future gaming controllers. Chrome OS brought the assistant right to the operating system, though the feature is still considered "experimental." It could soon be easier to use, though, as the company's working to enable push-button access from keyboards and other accessories.
Earlier this week, Google software engineer Dmitry Torokhov filed a commit to the Chromium Gerrit referencing a request he made to the USB Implementers Forum. The request, which Chrome Unboxed picked up on, was for USB to allow dedicated assistant keys on "keyboards and other human interface devices" to trigger desktop-based assistants. In the commit itself, Torokhov essentially said that USB's existing framework already permits this mapping to happen and that it should be applied to Chrome OS.
With new code in place, more Chromebook makers would easily be able to implement Google Assistant keys into their keyboards just like Google does with its Pixel Slate and Pixelbook. Accessories with similar buttons — take headsets or third-party keyboards, for example — may also connect to Chrome OS devices and be able to launch Google Assistant.
Right now, those who have Google Assistant enabled on their Chromebooks can hold the Search key and press 'A' to trigger it. Dedicated buttons, however, would better promote the service and only need a straightforward keypress to work.
- Chrome Unboxed