What is Google Home?
Google Home is the latest variant of Amazon’s Echo, a voice-activated product that connects you to Google assistant anytime and at any place in your house using a Wi-Fi-connected speaker.
For those who don’t know about Amazon Echo, the device works like Siri on your iPhone or the voice assistant function on Android. You ask a question or request a task, and the computer tries to execute it using the internet and its own database.
Google’s smart home speakers are different as they try to use the Google’s recently acquired Nest series of products and integrate it with Google Cast-enabled device. The list of streaming services that Google Home is compatible with is impressive, from music services such as Spotify, Pandora and TuneIn, to video services such as Netflix and YouTube.
To simplify, the device can help you do tasks such as stream videos on any television in your house, or use music services such as Spotify, Pandora and TuneIn without leaving the comfort of your couch.
The device has also been made in customizable shapes, meaning it will also match your indoor decor.
So basically it is a smart home control centre aiming to bring all Google products such as Google Play, Google Home, Maps, Navigation, etc. together. Google’s history feature will also make sure that it’s functionality and performance will be enhanced.
Google’s I/O Developer Conference, Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google comment on the device during the revealing ceremony,
“Google Home is a Wi-Fi speaker that streams music directly from the cloud so you get the highest quality playback. It will deliver rich bass and clear highs all from a beautiful compact form factor. Of course you can access songs, playlists, albums, artists, and podcasts from your favorite music services just by asking with your voice. Or if you prefer, you can send music from your android or iOS device through Google Cast.”
Google Cast is a wireless communication protocol, just like Bluetooth, which will allow two hardware devices to communicate with each other. So using the service, you will be able to connect your television to your smartphone and control what show is on the television just by using your voice instead of a separate app.
“Want to watch that episode of Jimmy Kimmel or the trending YouTube video on your TV? Just tell Google Home, and the content will appear on the biggest brightest screen in your house,” Queiroz said.
The shining jewel of your smart home
In this three-part system, the last part is a virtual hub for smart home devices, just like Samsung’s SmartThings. It will interconnect Google’s list of home automation partner devices such as Nest thermostat, Philips Hue smart bulb system, etc., creating an internet of things.
Release date and price
Can’t wait to buy it? Well, you don’t have to! Google home will be available from November 4, 2016. It is priced at $129 (around £100, AU$170), making it significantly cheaper than it’s competitor Amazon’s Echo.
What are your thoughts on this futuristic device? Comment below!