Google’s New Device Aims To Be The Centre Of Your Home
Google has given more details on its first entry into the ‘smart speaker’ market previously dominated by Amazon’s Echo.
The new Google Home brings all the artificial intelligence power of Google Assistant to your living room, or any room you like. Just like an Android phone, you can activate a voice command by saying “OK Google”, and follow up by asking Home about the weather, sports results or basically anything you would typically Google.
Where Google Home really sets itself apart though is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. You could ask where the nearest Mexican restaurant is, and when Home tells you the result you could ask “how do I get there?” just like you’re having a conversation. Google Home is also compatible with music streaming services through the built in speaker, and you can let the device know which service you prefer to use.
Central to the device is the always-on microphone. Early reports suggest the device is able to clearly recognise voice commands over background noise without needing to shout. There is also a touch sensitive surface on top of Google Home so you can interact with the device to reduce the volume for example.
Partnerships with Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue and IFTTT allow Google Home to interact with devices all around your home, with more manufacturers expected to be compatible in the future. Google’s Chromecast devices can also be controlled by Google Home, with companies like Netflix planning to give users full control through voice commands.
Google Home goes on sale in the U.S. on November 4 for about $169 and is available in a variety of colours and materials. Gizmodo Australia reports Google does not plan to release the device in Australia “any time soon”.