Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How Google Home Makes Calls

We ordered pizza tonight. It went well with the ice cream cake we were having for the birthday party. Normally, when I'd call the pizza place, I'd just whip out the cell phone and place the call. But, now that I have Google Home, my Google Assistant can do it for me. I merely said "Okay, Google: Call [Pizza Place]". Google Assistant confirmed the number, dialed them up, and put me through. I placed my order with them and, when they confirmed my number, they spat my cell phone number at me. What the what? How did Google Home know to use my cell phone number?

Some folks believe that Google Home connects to your cell phone via Bluetooth and makes the call using your cell network. That's not the case. Google Home uses Voice-Over-IP technology (VOIP) to make calls. Phone call information is essentially the same thing as website information, streamed movies, MMORPG data, etc etc. The Internet doesn't natively know the difference between all that. It's all just data. So, it's not much of a task to send audio up and get audio down so long as you have two receivers in place (in this case, Google Home and a traditional land line phone) that can interpret the data properly.

But why did the pizza place think I was calling from my cell phone? Well, that's the contact that's in the Google account that I use for Google Home. If you don't have a phone number tied to your account, Google Home will dial a number for you, but your number will come up as [Private] on the receiver's Caller ID. You can also input any number you want to have show up on the Caller ID, but you have to have access to that number because Google will text or call the number in order to confirm that you're not spoofing.

No comments:

Post a Comment