Google Home wants to be Australian like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.
The voice-activated smart home device is set to launch in the country on Thursday, shipping with a distinctly Australian twang and an understanding of the local vernacular.
“We’ve done a lot to make sure Google Home feels, sounds and looks Aussie,” Raunaq Shah, Google Home Product Manager in Australia, said.
You can ask Google Home’s Australian assistant where the nearest Maccas is, and it’ll respond if you ask it to play some Acca Dacca (that’s McDonald’s and AC/DC, for those playing at home.)
“We spent a lot of time making sure it understands Aussie accents, understands Aussie words like servo (service station), brekky (breakfast), and also put an Aussie personality in many aspects of the product,” Shah added.
That personality — as much personality an AI can bring — comes in Home’s numerous easter eggs. For example, ask “let’s throw a shrimp on the barbie,” it’ll retort by asking if you meant a prawn on the barbie.
Or try asking if “look what I made you” or “we’re going to Bonnie Doon,” both references to, The Castle, a classic Australian film.
It’s not all gimmicks though. Google have signed up a handful of third-party partners locally, which news services including Fox Sports, ABC News, The Australian, and Sky News. And hopefully there’s more to come.
“We’re really trying to build out the partner ecosystem here, so the services Australians know and love are going to be supported by the Google system,” Shah said.
Google Home will cost A$199 (US$157) in Australia, and comes with a 6 month subscription to YouTube Red. Google Wi-Fi will also be rolling out on the same day, also costing A$199 — or A$499 (US$393) for the three-pack.
If you’ve already got a Google Home, you can change your device’s settings to “English (Australia)” for some Down Under flavour. You ripper.