Apparently, lots of Google Home speakers were activated by Google's Super Bowl ad:

Early during tonight’s game, Google’s ad for the Google Home aired on millions of TVs. We’ve actually seen the ad before: loving families at home meeting, hugging, and being welcomed by the Google Assistant. Someone says “OK Google,” and those familiar, colorful lights pop up.

But then my Google Home perked up, confused. “Sorry,” it said. “Something went wrong.” I laughed, because that wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t the only one.

I recently asked about how you can stop Alexa from being activated by TV presenters and why Amazon Echos don't respond to TV ads, but this article makes me wonder if Google thought to add the same sort of protections (I suspect the answer is no, but couldn't find any sources to prove it).

Does the Google Home use any sort of frequency detection or signalling to stop advertisements from triggering the device?

1 Answer 1


It looks like probably not. I have searched around quite a bit, and I have found a couple pieces of evidence:

1. The article you referenced.

If you read the article again, you will see that the Google Home did pick up the signal - and interpreted it as a wake up call. Probably the volume and other background noise prevented the signal from being understood, hence, the "Sorry, something went wrong."

2. Google Assistant has retired Personalized Voice Recognition.

It appears that 2015, Personalized Voice Recognition has been retired. This means that Google is basing their recognition off of a larger database of various different accents and dialects, not off of a personalized recognition of your voice in particular. There is no reason why the voice of the guy on TV should be any different.

So as far as I can tell, the answer is,

No, for the moment, Google Home can be triggered by advertisements.

  • Since the Burger King ad exploit, your answer seems invalid : "not off of a personalized recognition of [somebody's] voice", Google blocked the specific voice of the guy in the ad.
    – Goufalite
    Apr 14, 2017 at 5:59

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