Thursday, December 20, 2018


The smart home, a residence that has an online smart speaker connected to its appliances and utilities, is something of a growing trend in this second decade of the 21st Century. Home automation, or at least the potential of it, seems to be the endgame of the rise of gadgets such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, with their respective virtual voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant. And this Holiday season, Google is highlighting just how different home life can be with their smart home tech, courtesy of an awesomely hilarious sendup to Christmas film “Home Alone”, with the lead star himself to boot.
The Verge has it that Google has score a coup for their current “Make Google Do It” slogan via their latest ad “Home Alone Again with Google Assistant”. The commercial reimagines the events of 20th Century Fox’s smash hit Holiday classic “Home Alone”, and how left-behind kid Kevin McCallister gets the run of the house while at the same time keep it safe from some determined if dimwitted burglars. This ad sees actor Macaulay Culkin reprising the role he immortalized as a child 28 years ago, going through the events of the film, with a little help from Google Assistant.
As the video shows, Google went for some awesome shot-for-shot remakes of scenes from the movie, but altered by the presence of a Google Assistant system in the McCallister home. Kevin this time knows he has the home to himself thanks to Google calendar; he has the Assistant add aftershave to his shopping list, and remind him to clean the sheets of the bed he is using as a trampoline (poor Kevin’s back). Then we have Kevin accepting the pizza delivery (paid for online), shutting up the creepy furnace with a command, and ultimately launch “Operation Kevin” to lock the doors and activate the mannequins to fool the Wet Bandits. This time around, the Michael Jordan standee cutout on a model train is replaced by Kevin Durant, plus a Roomba.
Viewer reaction to “Home Alone Again” has been utterly positive and fueled by nostalgia, though they did notice Kevin using a seeming Google Pixel smartphone that does not look like any model already known. Opinions are divided between commenters on whether it was just a mockup or a Pixel 3XL.
To tie in with this ad, Google has also updated Google Assistant with some quirky quote responses from “Home Alone”. Asking “Hey Google, did I forget something?” will trigger Mrs. McCallister screaming “KEVIN” from Google Home or an Assistant-using smartphone. It is beginning to look a lot like a booby trap-laden Christmas all over again.
Image courtesy of 9to5 Google


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