Hey google home speaker… play ABC Radio News

ABC Radio has launched a voice-activated news service to reach listeners using the new Google Home device, which has just arrived in Australia.

The voice activated Google Home speaker is a bluetooth device combined with a voice-activated assistant, also known as a Conversational User Interface (CUI).

The speaker is designed to be always on and most likely placed in a key position in the home, such as the kitchen or living room.

As reported earlier this year on radioinfo, smart speakers are taking off around the world and are now being introduced into Australia.

In James Cridland’s recent column he wrote: “The predominant location for these things is in a shared space – the kitchen, living room or dining room. Certainly in the living room, it’s difficult to find a radio any more: but a smart speaker appears to fit right in…They could be the way radio gets back into our living spaces.”

ABC Radio certainly seems to think so and has been quick to capitalise on the launch of smart speakers into Australia, using its RSS feeds to supply content to the Google engine that feeds content to the speaker.

See a tip from one of our readers in the comments section below about the voice commands for ABC Radio.

Angela Stengel, Digital Lead for Radio explains what ABC will offer via the smart speakers: “For launch we’re providing regularly updated news, sport and finance bulletins from the ABC News on radio team. Next, we will explore briefings for other genres, potentially some which are digital first rather than taken from broadcast. ABC’s huge and popular podcast catalogue can also be exposed to these devices.”

Stengel told ABC News:

Andrew King and Jim Trail in my area worked out a solution using new systems and workflows set up for the Capital City Local sites and our digital first podcasts. The more complex side was settling on a workflow that would be flexible into the future (What if we want to break from a schedule and instantly be able to send out an audio update? What if we want to create and distribute content which is never broadcast?) but also manageable for busy people in a newsroom.

“David Connaghan then worked with Helen Thomas, Sandy Aloisi, Dianne Comrie and Chris Dengate in News on radio to train staff, then test and refine the offer in the weeks leading up to launch.”

She sees great potential for the easy interaction with ABC content that these new devices will provide for audiences.

“We’ve been experts in audio for a long time at ABC, so it’s a natural fit for us to distribute audio content on demand to these devices. ABC’s R&D team, along with Kimberley Porteous from News (pictured above), have been exploring next level content making for CUIs. What if you could drill down into a news story using your voice to pause, skip and ask for more information where you were interested? 

“This has huge ramifications for how we create and manage our audio content for it to be potentially de-constructed and re-constructed in a “choose your own adventure” sort of way.”


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