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Google Home can now tell who's talking to it

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Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz shows the new Google Home during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 19, 2016 in Mountain View, California.

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Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz shows the new Google Home during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 19, 2016 in Mountain View, California.

Google introduced support for multiple Google Home users on Thursday, which means it’s now capable of distinguishing whether you’re talking to it, or your wife is.

The new Google Home feature, which is available right in the Google Home app on your smartphone, lets you add up to six different users. Then, if one user asks something personal, like his or her commute or schedule, Google Home will identify who is speaking and read out the correct information.

Google says it’s tapping into its neural network to “compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so we can understand if it’s you speaking or not.”

You might say, “Hey Google — what’s my commute like today,” and Google Home will search through your profile, understand where you work based on your previous settings, and then let you know about traffic along the route. If your significant other asks the same question, Google Home will customize that result and read out an appropriate response.

Google says the customization works for everything from music to news.

Each user will need to register with Google Home first, so that the assistant can understand who’s talking. The Google Home Assistant will walk you through a few phrases, allowing it to create a voice profile so that it can identify who is speaking.

Voice recognition is a feature that’s currently unique to Google Home and one that Amazon hasn’t yet added to the Echo. Also, folks who own the Amazon Echo can only switch between two accounts. Google has its neural network to make this a possibility, and it’s not clear if Amazon is currently able to add something similar.

The multi-user Google Home feature is rolling out in the U.S. beginning Thursday and will be available in the U.K. in the coming months, Google said.

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