During this year's SXSW convention in Austin, Texas, Google's got its Google Assistant on full display at the Google Assistant Fun House. Attendees of SXSW can visit the Fun House to see a sock-sorting robot and beer-ordering system for couch potatoes, and powering these things is Google's new Custom Device Actions.

Beginning today, manufacturers can use these Custom Device Actions to create custom Google Assistant commands that are specific for their hardware. According to Google, one example of this is being able to select a specific color cycle on a washing machine by just talking to the Assistant.

Also coming to the Google Assistant today is media playback support for Actions on smart speakers and Android phones and new Actions from American Idol, iHeartRadio, and others. With media playback controls, you can use your voice to control any media being played by Actions or use your phone's screen to play, pause, replay items, and turn off your screen while the audio plays in the background.

Coming soon, Google is also adding notifications to the Assistant. This will allow you to subscribe to certain items on your phone, and when there's a change in a stock you're following or breaking news story, the Assistant will read the update aloud to you.

If you happen to be in Austin for SXSW, you can visit the Google Assistant Fun House at 1301 E. Cesar Chavez.

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