I work on Google Assistant on TVs.
My teams launched a brand new product, Chromecast with Google TV, to rave reviews from both users and the press, in 2020.
Digital assistants are a fresh new way of thinking about computing, and my background in human-computer interaction drew me to this area. Despite being an early skeptic of voice-only interfaces, I have now fully embraced the notion of talking to a disembodied voice in the sky and asking it to do things for you.
The Google Assistant team is a fun, fast-paced environment with wide scope for new ideas, from multi-device interactions to language understanding to interfacing with third-party ecosystems. Interested? We’re hiring!
During my 13+ year career at Google, plus 3 internships, I have served on several teams.
Google Now was the contextual assistant that provides you “the right information at just the right time”.
I founded and grew a team to 12 engineers across Android, iOS, Web, and Server to build a server-driven cross-platform layout system for the Feed. Our solution is now built into Chrome, the Google Search App on Android and iOS, and the Google.com homepage on mobile. Piet is open-source and is available in the Chromium tree at chromium.googlesource.com/feed.
I was an early engineer on the beloved yet cancelled-too-early Google Inbox. Email is an integral part of our personal information, thus this aligned closely with my dissertation interests.
I prototyped the product that became Google Instant & personally demoed my prototypes to Larry and Sergey, which secured approval for this project. The team grew to several 100s of engineers, and we successfully scaled this feature to Google’s billions of users. When Google Instant launched in August 2010, it was referred to as the biggest change to Google since the launch of Google itself.
Our team was awarded the Operating Committee (OC) Award, given by Google to a select few teams each year, for accomplishments that “merit special recognition when they create significant new value for Google and surpass even our most audacious goals”. With the growth of mobile, Instant Search became less and less relevant, and was retired in 2018.
Fun fact: when I showed an early prototype to members of the infrastructure team, here’s the reaction I received.
As the team grew, I worked with a team of awesome front-end engineers to productionize the application and eventually, to launch it. When Google Instant launched in August 2010, it was referred to as the biggest change to Google since the launch of Google itself.
After Instant, I worked with the Speech Recognition team to launch Voice Search on Google.com. I was the only Web Search engineer working on this project exclusively, and thus was responsible for a majority of the front-end engineering work.
Some ideas are too radical to be pursued by large corporations, so I’ve followed them up as side projects. Hermit, the Lite Apps Browser, is arguably my largest such side project, with over 1 million happy users and a 4.6+ star rating on Google Play.
Hermit is a fresh new take on how Web Apps should exist on a mobile operating system. Go check it out, it’s free to download. →
A usable, friendly, and fast web site keeps users happy. Designing for usability is part art, part science. As a User Experience Consultant, I am happy to provide actionable suggestions to product teams that you can implement with your team. Read on for more details »
Before joining Google, I obtained my Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech in 2009 (dissertation: “Mental Workload in Personal Information Management: Understanding PIM Practices Across Multiple Devices”). I hold a Masters degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a Bachelors from the University of Mumbai.
I grew up in Bombay, the financial capital of India, right by the sea. My wife Amruta is a front-end engineer at Salesforce, and we love to travel and indulge in our shared passion for good food.