By all accounts, Google will probably launch Google Home, a new competitor for Amazon’s Echo, today, Wednesday 18. Today is the Google I/O developer’s showcase.
The New York Times and Recode have reported that Google will launch a voice-activated device called “Google Home or Google Chirp” at the I/O developer conference in Mountain View.
The reports say Google’s new gizmo will be a home device, roughly shaped like Google’s OnHub Router, which will integrate the tech giant’s voice agent.
A few years ago Google added the “hotword” support to Android, which allows phones to respond to an “OK Google” command. Presumably, Google Home will have this command incorporated.
Echo, Amazon’s very own Home device, is a cylinder appliance that uses Alexa, a cloud-space digital assistant, to report news, craft shopping lists, turn on the alarm, the kitchen timer. It’s basically a loudspeaker that doubles as a microphone.
The beauty of Echo is in its Amazon Prime services integration that plays back audiobooks or your music selection by voice command. The voice command also allows you to shop or order items from Amazon.
But Google has the same capabilities and even more. With a hefty list of info and other commands users can ask “Google Ok” and other services like Google Express and Google Play Music, Google Home will come in strongly as a competitor for Amazon’s Echo.
It’s not yet certain if third-party services will be able to access Google Home through API. All of the popular food-delivery apps run on Android while Echo only allows you to order pizza from Dominos and a few restaurants in strategic cities over the US. However, Amazon has integrated other services like Uber and Audible with Alexa but came back with mixed results.
If Google Home allows developer access through API, it will boost the device even more.
The price and ship date for the Google Home gadget are still unknown. Echo has a price tag of $180. Will Google beat that?
With all the digital assistants clogging the market funnel – see Siri, Viv, Cortana, Alexa – will there still be a need for another one or a better one? We’re on the wait to see the results of Google’s I/O developer conference presentations and find out what other consumer technology will Google make available.
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