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Rumor: Google KITT is a Car Home Replacement with Always-On Listening and Read-Aloud Notifications

Always-on listening is super convenient in the car, so it’s only logical that Google is working on making it easier to invoke while driving. Android Police reports that the company is experimenting with a revamped car interface – referred to internally as KITT, or “Android Eyes Free” – that relies on the “Ok, Google” hotword and hand gestures for interaction. 

The most exciting part of the project is the extension of always-on listening beyond the homescreen. Like the Moto X, Google plans to enable screen-off hotword detection, meaning “Ok, Google” will wake your device from any state and take you right to Google Search. To save on battery, always-on listening may initially require your device be plugged in and charging to activate, but devices with always-on listening chips could avoid that limitation.

Voice isn’t the only way you will be able to activate Search. It can reportedly be configured for use with Bluetooth devices and headsets, and even activated with the wave of a hand.

Another aspect of Google’s car mode is voice feedback in more places, although the specifics are in flux. In addition to all incoming notifications, Search will apparently read aloud the content of Google Now cards. Text-heavy results like web searches may result in a prompt to save them for later, when reading is safer.

If all goes according to plan, enabling these features will be as simple as checking boxes within Search settings. That day may be a long ways off, but the prospect of a worthy Car Home replacement is beyond exciting.

Via: Android Police
  • Возмущенный

    This is freakin’ EPIC.


    And then…


  • Simon Belmont

    I’m glad Google Search will finally be smart enough to read stuff back to me. It was never going to be COMPLETELY hands-free until it read back the message you were trying to dictate before they were sent, or the messages you were receiving without having to look at it.

    Sounds like this is definitely happening. Over Bluetooth and via touchless controls.

  • Jedi_Skote

    lol, the moment when you read this article to your wife and hit “ok google” and your moto x activates.

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah. And according to this article, that will be a common occurrence for a lot more people soon enough.

      I, personally, can’t wait for my Nexus 5 to be completely hands-free. Good times.

  • rickneworleansla

    Agreed. About time! Now we need Ultra Battery Saving mode built in.

  • Dan

    hand gestures? wtf, you’re supposed to be driving, not waving your hands around!

    • Tony Spencer

      Maybe it can read how many fingers are involved in the gesture and respond accordingly?

    • Simon Belmont

      The hand gesture is just to wake the screen. I’m guessing it’ll use the proximity sensor or front facing camera to detect you’ve waved your hand at the screen.

      I don’t think they’ll be using it for anything elaborate. Just a simple wake up gesture.

  • chris kilps

    About Time!!

    • Viet Hoang-Tran

      wow… I was thinking the same audio clip from sc2.

  • BK

    I get the feeling we’ll be hearing these words a lot in the coming months as the future of Android is revealed: “Like the Moto X…”

    • WAldenIV

      As we should.

    • michael arazan

      I have a feeling in 5 years apple will be announcing this feature in iOS 13 after google perfects it so apple can steal it

  • Ray

    I have OK Google xposed module working with nova launcher, gmail, YouTube, play store, play music, chrome and phone/contacts and it works flawlessly http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/mod-ok-google-3rd-party-launchers-t2765635

    • Adam Elghor

      What phone are you using and hows the battery life?

      • Ray

        Galaxy S4 I haven’t noticed any battery hit

  • Jason Kahn

    Will it use the Hoff for Voice response or William Daniels(The Voice of Kitt from the 80’s show)

    • red014

      The younger crowd will remember him as Mr. Feeny.

      • BroRob

        William Daniels or complete fail! 😉

      • MH

        He will always be KITT. Even when he is Feeny. True story.

      • Brandon

        Exactly! I was thinking “Please let it have the voice of Mr. Feeny!”

  • A.Miller

    I wonder how many folks know why its code named KITT?

    • Daistaar

      I thought the Knight Rider reference was pretty obvious. Is it not? Is the average Android user that young?

      • Jason Kahn

        They might pick up off the Remake, which I think only lasted one season, rather that the original series.

        • Daistaar

          KKAAAAAAHHHHHNNNNNN!!!!!!! You’re right. Forgot about that. 🙂

          • Jason Kahn

            Did you say that in William Shatner’s voice, or Zachary Quinto

          • Daistaar

            LOL haven’t seen the Siler version LOL. Classic all the way behhbeeh. B)

            EDIT: Doesn’t ZQ play Mr. Spock? I haven’t seen the last two movies.

          • vonny571

            Spoiler Alert

          • BroRob

            +1 for Heroes reference!

        • Kit-tastic

          Of course Apple just announced HealthKit and HomeKit today. Who announced first? Watch the lawsuits fly as each claim to have patented ‘kit’. Oh and break me off a piece of that KIT kat bar please.

          • Blue Sun

            4.4.3 release date confirmed?

    • James

      The Hoff is a star across the globe, as well he should be.

    • Suman Gandham

      Knight Industries Two Thousand, brah :p

    • jeesung

      Apple’s car app is codenamed KARR 😉

      • Larry Franks

        Best comment yet!

  • chris kilps

    About Time!!

  • Defenestratus

    I told the carhome ultra guy to integrate the OK Google keyword into his app. He didn’t know how at the time… looks like Google is beating him to the punch…

    • Gr8Ray

      That app needs a serious UI overhaul. It’s so dated. I’m not sure what’s worse, that Car Home Ultra’s UI is so dated, or that it’s the best offering I’ve seen so far.

  • Road Rager

    Not a fan of always on listening in the car. When driving in traffic, I make Don Sterling sound like Mr. Rogers. I don’t need it “accidently” broadcast/recorded somewhere.

    • zzz525

      Is this supposed to be funny?

      • Daistaar

        I think it’s more like damn hilarious than funny! Road rage is a real thing and I feel a “u mad bro?” is in order. LOL

        • Raj Bhatt

          Road rage is one thing, being a bigoted piece of crap is another. I personally don’t mind my device listening to me swear. But I’m also not using racial slurs and epithets when I’m mad at traffic and stupid drivers.

          • ragebutt

            With a name like rage butt I doubt it..lol

          • Daistaar

            Agreed! Real hate has no place in the world. Rage is funny. Hate is not. I upvote you and downvote myself.

  • Dc

    Best. Name. Ever.

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    • sonicyoof

      Keep It Thimple Thtupid.