As one of the first Belgian companies to do so, Telenet has developed applications for the Google Assistant, which is launching today in our country. Customers can now use their voice to ask their smartphone to turn the TV on and off, to search for, play, pause or record a programme. That's convenient, because over half of Belgians find it annoying when the remote control isn't within reach, Telenet research has found. Soon, you'll even be able to ask the Google Assistant for movie and series recommendations, or to ask questions about your products and services.
More than one in six Belgians (18.7%) changes the channel more than ten times per evening. That’s what Telenet’s research on more than a thousand Belgians shows. Almost half of the Belgians (45.8%) have more than two remote controls on their coffee table. More than one in five (22.1%) are annoyed when the remote control is lost again. And more than half (56.7%) find it annoying when it is not within reach.
Telenet customers can now also use Google Assistant to control their TV with a simple voice command. Think of searching for, playing, pausing or recording a programme or changing the volume.
The Dutch version of the digital aide has been available in the Netherlands for several months now, but now it's Belgium's turn. Google has made sure that the Assistant also understands our Flemish dialect and expressions. Telenet is one of the first companies in Belgium to support the system.
“We really wanted to adopt this tech from the get-go, because the ease of use of voice control is so great. The remote control of our newest decoder also supports speech technology. For the Google Assistant, we are now starting with a number of basic commands to control your decoder, but these will be extended in the coming weeks and months to, for example, zapping or getting tips for films and series. We will also go beyond the TV experience: in the near future, customers will also be able to ask questions about their products or services via Google Assistant instead of looking them up online." Femke De Roo, Manager Digital Marketing Platforms & Innovation at Telenet
Although voice technology is still in its infancy in Belgium, with the launch of the Google Assistant it is likely to gain momentum. Almost one in three Belgians (30.4%) report they would like to be able to control their TV using their voice.
"We are very happy to to welcome the Google Assistant to Belgium. It will certainly be a great improvement to the experience of Telenet customers. The Google Assistant allows users to have a conversation with Google in order to make simple things, such as controlling the TV, as natural as possible by means of speech. There's an ongoing shift from mobile-first to AI-first, and speech assistants are at the cutting edge of that shift. We're incredibly excited that Belgian companies such as Telenet are seizing the opportunity to build their own actions on Google, in order to make their services and expertise available to all Google Assistant users." Thierry Geerts, Country Director at Google Belgium
The Belgian version of the Google Assistant is currently available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.
How does it work?
Here's how to connect your Google Assistant:
- Download the Google Assistant app from the Play Store or the App Store
- Sign in using your Google account
- Follow the introduction
- Ask Google to talk to Telenet
- Sign in using your Telenet account