Partner focus: Google's people-first approach to AI

May 21, 2019

This is the first article in our new series in which we take a closer look at how our partners are delivering market-leading solutions to customers around the world.

At their recent Google I/O conference, our partners, Google, made a number of announcements and gave us some insight into their thinking around two things that we also care deeply about: AI and people.

We share Google’s vision to use AI in order to empower people and solve their real needs, be it at home and at work. It all starts with people. Huddly’s AI-powered cameras and user experiences are just the first steps toward our vision, the automated meeting room experience.

Less hassle, more joy.

Jonas Rinde, Huddly CEO

Huddly CEO Jonas Rinde explains: “Time is a finite resource, and automation lets you choose where you pay your attention. In the meeting space, you’re free to collaborate and be more productive than ever before. And that is the future we see for our users. Less hassle, more joy.”

Starting with people

During the I/O keynote, Google’s SVP Devices and Services Rick Osterloh spoke about the principles behind the development of a new range of smart home products, but he could just as easily have been speaking about the office space. “We continue to believe that the biggest breakthroughs are happening at the intersection of AI, software and hardware. The smart home of today is fragmented and frustrating. To deliver real help… you can’t start with technology. You have to start with people”.

Google Keynote (Google I/O’19)

Using AI to solve real needs

The “people first” approach is at the core of how Google designs products and with resources like the People + AI guidebook they offer guidance on how to use AI to solve real human needs.

If you start with people then any exploration, product design, or research you do will have a fruitful path.

Jess Holbrook

Jess Holbrook, one of the creators of the guidebook, explains: “Right now, AI is the new flashy technology. (…) We’re still seeing the same trends we saw with previous waves of technology: You experiment, your product looks really cool, and then you stumble by building an experience that doesn’t address a real human need or aspiration. We’re reminding people of what we know works, which is to put people first and work from there. It’s an evergreen approach—if you start with people then any exploration, product design, or research you do will have a fruitful path.” (From: AI and Design: Putting People First)h

We couldn’t agree more. At Huddly, we build tools to help people collaborate, and what matters is how our products and features make their workday easier.

Google Hangouts Meet hardware kit with Huddly GO wide-angle conference camera

Automating user experiences

We announced our partnership with Google back in October 2017, when Huddly GO first featured as part of the Hangouts Meet Hardware kit.The data from Huddly GO can be accessed via our the Huddly API and used for many different purposes – building features and experiences, camera control and management, and for advanced room analytics. In 2018, Google were the first to use this capability. With the help of the API, they pull data from our camera and use it to implement an AI feature for their users, namely autozoom.

In the Google Hangouts Meet kit, Huddly is one of four best-in-class hardware components. The kit consists of an ASUS Chromebox, a touch controller, a speakermic (custom-designed and built by Google) and the Huddly GO camera. Hangouts Meet hardware brings the same reliable, easy-to-join video meeting experience of Hangouts Meet to the conference room. With AI capability on the camera, Huddly provides intelligence with accuracy and speed in the meeting space that makes the user experience even better.

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Dan Hesketh
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