Google announces voice activated connected home device

A pocket-sized device that will play music, order you a taxi and connect with other smart home products has been announced by Google and will rival Amazon’s Echo.

From Google Blog

Update 6 April 2017: Following Google Home’s debut in the US in November 2016, the connected home product launches in the UK today. It is now available online and in stores across the UK, and is retailing at £129.

Google has announced the launch of a new connected home product, Google Home, which will be released later this year.

Google Home is a voice-activated product that can play a song, set a timer for the oven, or order a taxi. It ties in with services like Google Cast, Google Play Music and another of Google’s new releases.

The voice activated part of the product Google Assistant, is also new and works in a similar way to Siri on Apple’s iPhone or Cortana on Microsoft products.

Linking up with other connected home devices

Google Assistant allows for colloquial commands to be made and recognised. As part of Google Home it can also link to smart home brands like Nest and Chromecast.

The palm-sized cylindrical Google Home device is designed to be discrete and unnoticeable in the living room. Under the base is a speaker, through which the product will play music and respond to requests.

Google Home’s speakers are designed to be more powerful than similar portable devices. At its top are four small LEDs, which act as a microphone.

“Warm and inviting”

Speaking yesterday at Google’s I/O 2016 keynote event in California, Mario Queiroz, Google’s vice president of product management said that Google’s aim was to create “a product that’s warm and inviting and fits naturally in many areas of the home”.

He added: “We’re designing the top to blend into your home. We’ll give you the option to customise your base with different colours and finishes including metal and fabric to reflect your home style.”

Google Home is set to compete with Amazon’s Echo, a conversational smart home device that was launched in 2014.

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