As rumored, Google has announced Home, its competitor to Amazon’s Echo. Google Home is a voice activated assistant that can be used to control home automation products, perform web search queries, manage calendar, send messages and a lot more.
Google Home was announced at Google IO today and is scheduled to be made available to public before the end of this year. During the announcement, Google mentioned Echo as an inspiration for Home but also said that it will be better than Amazon’s offering. It would not be surprising as Google has a lot of experience thanks to voice operated searches and Google Now which should help them make the product available in more markets, much faster than Amazon.
In terms of design, Google Home looks quiet simple. It has advanced mics which can hear you from across the room, a loud speaker which can even playback your music, animated LED lights on top that match Google’s logo colors and a customizable base shell which can be changed to match your home interior.
Google has built up Home with a few use cases in mind: it works with Cast so you can use it to control your TV or Google Cast Audio connected devices. It can also be used with multiple units in one home so you could put one in each room of your property.
Google has not announced an API yet for third party developers, however, Home will work with a number of third party services such as Spotify. This is similar to Google Now’s third party services support. This also means that home automation will be limited to only the products and protocols that Google supports so this gives Echo a big advantage.
Over the long term, Google might have a big hit on their hand. With Echo being the only competitor in this product field at the moment, Home will have some work to do before users might consider switching. Amazon has also been working hard on Echo with regular product updates and new offerings with work with Echo. It would be great to see Apple or Microsoft also step into this competition with products of their own.
Google has not shared an exact release date or price yet for Home. Sign up for latest updates on Google Home its official website.