Add voice to your hackathon project with Google Assistant

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With Actions on Google, you can easily reach and engage with users across Google. From quick commands to full conversations, Actions help you connect your content and services to users with the Google Assistant.

How to start building

To quickly learn how to build and deploy a conversational Action, you can follow one of our codelabs. Additionally, you can browse the following resources:

If you're adventurous, you can also start exploring on your own in the Actions Console.

Google Cloud Platform

Actions on Google works seamlessly with Google Cloud Platform to take advantage of Google's machine learning APIs.

As part of our partnership with Major League Hacking, you will have $100 of GCP credits to use for free with your project.

Resources for conversational design

Conversation design is a design language based on human conversation (similar to how material design is a design language based on pen and paper). The more an interface leverages human conversation, the less users have to be taught how to use it. It's a synthesis of several design disciplines, including voice user interface design, interaction design, visual design, motion design, audio design, and UX writing.

Dialogflow is a conversational platform that lets you design and build Actions with an easy-to-use IDE, natural language understanding (NLU), machine learning, and more.

Read our conversational design guidelines to learn best practices when building a conversational interface.

Setting up a Google Home Mini

If you are using a Google Home Mini to build your project, you will probably require a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Many university networks have Access Point (AP) isolation, which means you cannot use their Wi-Fi to connect your phone to the Google Home Mini for setup.

Here's how you can set up the Google Home Mini for the hackathon:

  1. Turn on the Google Home Mini. It will say it cannot connect.
  2. Turn on the hotspot. This can be on a phone (Android directions).
  3. On another Android phone, connect to this network and open the Home app. Log into the app using the same Google account associated with your Action.
  4. The Google Home Mini should be visible as a device while it is in pairing/seeking mode.
  5. Tap the Add button. If this button doesn't appear, you may need to factory reset the Google Home Mini. (Google Home Mini directions).
  6. Next, tap Set up device. Then tap New devices. It is fine if Home is selected. Then tap Next. Select the Google Home Mini you're adding and then tap Next.
  7. Once it is set up, tap Yes to confirm you heard the sound. Then tap Yes, I’m in. Then, select a room.
  8. After you select a room, click Connect to Wi-Fi. Select the hotspot Wi-Fi (from the original phone). Wait until it states that it’s connected.
  9. Click Finish Setup and it should be connected. If you encounter issues during setup, check this troubleshooting guide.

Try out your Action

As you develop your Action, there are many ways you can try it out for debugging and testing.

You can use any or all of these methods:

  • The Actions simulator in your web browser, which is accessible from the Test tab in the Actions console.
  • Your Android phone if it has the Google Assistant
  • An iPhone with the Google Assistant app.
  • The Google Home Mini.

In all of these cases, the Google account that you’re using for development should be the same account that is on the device.

A conversational Action can be invoked by telling the Google Assistant to open it.

Try it out: "Hey Google, talk to Number Genie".

Invoke your Action with "Talk to my test app", or "Talk to ACTION NAME" if you renamed your Action in the Develop > Invocation Name section of the console.

A full list of Actions can be found in the Assistant directory.

Getting your Smart home / IoT devices to work with Google Assistant

Smart home devices connect to Google Assistant through a direct Action instead of a conversational Action. This allows you to give direct voice commands without having to first invoke the Action by name. For example, "Turn on the light" instead of "Ask my test app to turn on the light".

If you're building a smart home solution or an IoT hack, and want to add Google Assistant in some way, check out the smart home documentation and sample projects.

More questions

If you have additional questions, check the actions-on-google tag on StackOverflow.