Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’

“At its annual I/O developer conference, Google today unveiled a new hardware device and competitor to Amazon Echo, a portable speaker powered by voice assistance technology called Google Home,” Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch.

“Like Echo, Google Home will also include a virtual assistant you interact with via voice,” Perez reports. “Unveiled earlier today, Google Assistant is a bit of a rebranding of the Google Now voice search feature. However, the new Assistant is able to answer questions and have two-way conversations, as well as perform tasks like playing music, interact with smart home devices including Nest thermostats, and more.”

Google Home
Google Home

 
“Unlike Amazon Echo, Google has not yet opened up its Home platform to all third-party developers,” Perez reports. “The speaker lets you customize the base with a variety of colors to match the home’s style, and includes LED lights, speaker, and mic… The speaker ships later this year. Pricing has yet to be announced.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google beats Apple – well, in announcements, at least – but we’ll see what Apple has up their sleeve at WWDC and when it ships before we proclaim a winner in the race to echo Echo.

As we wrote last month:

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.

SEE ALSO:
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016

23 Comments

  1. If you like Google tracking everything you do online, you’re going to *love* Google tracking everything you say in the privacy of your own home!

    1. I can’t think of a more creepy device from a company already in bed with the US government, riddled with OS security issues, and perfectly willing to sell my private information to literally anyone to make a buck.

      1. AustinX – Agree completely. All of these gadgets, the Internet of Things, will all be communicating with one another and there is not one single area of our life that is not able to be profited from. They’ll be able to know when you come home from work, your TV viewing habits, what you ate for dinner, when you showered and had sex with your significant other. And if they need additional information they have the embedded microphone in those devices in order to obtain it. Guaranteed that Google and Amazon are already doing this. Why not, it’s there! It’s simply foolish to think they are NOT doing it!

  2. I honestly don’t see how echo is some game changing product. It’s Siri attached to a speaker. Every iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iPod touch has the same capability…. Plug it into a speaker, prbluetooth it to one. Seriously? What’s the big deal. I don’t get it.

    1. Disagree. Echo is superior to Siri in parsing questions, etc.

      The reason Apple hasn’t done this is they have not developed Siri into an AI system — it remains a (very limited) voice interface.

      If they continue their recent trend, Apple will now rush a competing product based on Siri to market, with no significant new feature offering, and run commercials about how it’s new because it comes in gold.

  3. I personally see absolutely no need for such a device.. Since we never really know how many Amazon has actually sold, I suspect not many, and to assume that Apple has any interest in developing such a device, if they really wanted to do, they would have done it already…

  4. If you want to voluntarily place an NSA listening device into your home, by all means do so. Your government overlords are just salivating at this opportunity.

    The level of ignorance in the US population is breathtaking.

        1. But that would mean you would have your iPhone/Siri in the same room as you. Since the Google Home has not been released yet, it may be possible that the device would still work if on the same home wifi network as say an Android tablet/smartphone you carry with you.

  5. Oh joy.
    Warning, satire below!
    One night, you decide to buy a Google Home from your local Walmart (because why not?) You download the Home app on your Android phone, pair it, and put your Google info into the Home so that it can serve you better. Later that night, to celebrate your purchase, you order pizza with your new Home, and complain about how slow the pizza takes to arrive. After the pizza guy finally knocks on the door, you try first to pay with Google Wallet, but he doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, so you pull your wallet out of the place where it usually sits, hand him cash, but no tip, and turn to eat. You calculate the calories within each slice, portion everything to your liking, put away most of it for lunch and dinner tomorrow, then eat only a little for your dinner, because you must lose weight, according to your doctor. Later that night, you bring your Home into your bedroom with you, and ask your spouse if they want to do some “bed exercises” and they promptly say yes, as usual. After this, you sleep, tossing and turning due to some sleep problem, you suppose.
    The next day, you open your Chromebook—fore you love Google with your heart, mind and strength—and you see ads for other Google products, pizza places that deliver more quickly, better ways of exercising, marriage counseling, and the soonest openings for sleep studies. You’re find with this though, because Google is beneficent, surely. Otherwise, why would the Obama administration have talks with them? You then plan to pour out your heart to your Home, and make it a permanent place in your bedroom, then to buy one for every room in your house.
    Enjoy, Google lovers.

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