October is International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month, and Google is working to make Assistant available on Tobii Dynavox devices, as well as updating Action Blocks to provide a more familiar experience.

Google today announced an Assistant partnership with Tobii Dynavox, a maker of dedicated assistive devices and mobile apps. The company offers tablets that feature a “preconfigured set of tiles for users to communicate about everyday things,” and can be controlled by touch, eye gaze, or scanning.

Assistant can now be a tile on that device to both control smart home gadgets and ask Google questions. 

We’ve also worked closely with Tobii to make this experience easy to set up. First, create a Google account and set up a smart speaker or smart display in the Google Home app on Android or iOS. After providing access to the Snap Core First app, you can then configure tiles by selecting a button in edit mode, tapping on “Add action” and then tapping on “Send Google Assistant command.”

Meanwhile, Google is updating Action Blocks with a library of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox that can be used as the cover image for Assistant homescreen buttons. There are tens of thousands of symbols in total that people might already be familiar with. 

Meanwhile, Action Blocks can now be assigned directly to switches. As such, “tapping a physical button can directly trigger a Google Assistant action.” 

Blocks can now be set up to say: “Yes,” “No,” “Excuse me, I have something to say,” or other common phrases. 

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Abner Li

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