Google I/O kicks off today (late night IST) and expectedly, rumour mills have started churning out stuff at a greater frequency. Fresh out of the mill is an expected launch of a voice-activated home device — similar to Amazon Echo, and built to compete with the same, reports NY Times.

Christened ‘Google home’, the device is expected to do pretty much the same stuff as Amazon’s Echo — carry out basic daily tasks based on voice commands. Nothing on the physical appearance or structure of the device has been revealed yet.

Google however is being pretty late on the launch — expected launch is fall this year — and thats late largely because Echo came out almost two years ago, with claimed sales of over 3 million units and counting. It’ll be interesting to see what different Google is able to pull off. Amazon’s Echo has received an extremely positive critical as well as user response.

Google has declined to comment on the matter.

I/O is expected to usher in a host of new launches, and a major leap in AI technology is something which everyone is looking forward to. The search giant already has Google now, but it hasn’t really received a resounding response from both consumers and critics alike. The company might integrate Google Now with Home to help consumers connect to their homes seamlessly via smartphones — an area Google could excel more than any other competitor, considering it possesses one of world’s most innovative home automation divisions under the name of Nest.

But again, Google will be closely competing with Apple on the home automation front with the latter’s launch of Homekit. Siri hasn’t really been “the virtual assistant” people want, with its own creators launching a different assistant, claimed to possess much greater capability than Siri. Microsoft’s Cortana is doing a decent job as well, but none have been able to perform complex tasks, with most being used for rather simple, basic functionality.

Stay tuned to our I/O coverage to know more on this and other announcements.


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