We’re big fans of the Amazon Echo and its clever solution of using a wireless speaker as a standalone virtual assistant. That’s why we’re not surprised to see Google Home, a new wireless speaker that brings the outfit’s numerous digital assistant technologies.
Like the Echo, the new device combines a speaker with an always-listening microphone to conduct two-way interactions. Unlike it, however, the integrated Google Assistant should leverage the company’s robust search algorithms, so you can expect the same quality of responses as you get from the outfit’s numerous search-related technologies. Even better, the new digital assistant can respond intelligently to follow-up question, so you can drill down on queries until you get the exact answers you want.
Aside from answering queries, Google Home can also serve as a home automation hub, so you can adjust the thermostat, switch on the lights, or control any compatible appliances with simple voice commands. It can also stream music directly from the cloud, apart from coming with Google Cast support, so you can use it to stream videos to your Chromecast as well as group with other speakers for multi-room audio. For notifications, the device will let out a soft beep, at which point you can prompt it to read the notification by saying, “Ok Google, I’m listening.”
The device itself is shaped like a small jug, so it’s not quite portable enough for use outside the house, with no visible buttons and a series of LED indicators on top. It has an all-white upper half, with a customizable lower half for better matching your interiors.
The Google Home is slated to come out in the fourth quarter.