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Google Home's Super Bowl Ad Exposes a Big Flaw

Something odd happened around the country while the Super Bowl commercial for the Google Home speaker ran on TVs everywhere.

The ad, which showed loving families using the smart home speaker for listening to music and turning on and off the lights, also managed to set off Google Homes in the real world, surprising their owners.

Google Home owners quickly ran to Twitter to explain that since the advertisement features someone saying "Okay, Google," their Home units were activated at the same time. These users had no recourse but to let this happen, as Google's speaker offers no option to set a different wake phrase.

MORE: Google Home vs. Amazon Echo - Smart Speaker Face-off

Some owners of Amazon's Echo, Dot and Tap speakers may be familiar with this moment, as a TV news report in San Diego once triggered the Alexa-based speakers to order dollhouses. A Fox News report explains this happened when CW6 news anchor Jim Patton described a 6-year-old in Dallas who accidentally ordered a dollhouse and cookies via the speaker, saying "I love the little girl, saying 'Alexa ordered me a dollhouse.'"

Alexa users can learn from that incident, though, as Amazon's devices allow you to change the wake word. Apple and Microsoft don't allow different wake words for Siri and Cortana, but since those assistants can be enabled in other ways, you can disable wake words altogether.

Google Home is still a fantastic smart speaker that offers great sound and deep integration with other Google products — let's just hope it gets smart enough to ignore the TV.

  • Darkoverlordofdata
    I won't buy a product that is always spying on me. How do I know that Google home isn't sending all it hears to the NSA?