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Google announces Home: It’s $129 answer to Amazon Echo

Google Home
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Google’s ongoing, made-by-google event has a whole bunch of super-exciting stuff that has been announced or is being announced. However, amongst the items that we have been waiting for most enthusiastically lies Google Home, the company’s hyped about answer to the Alexa powered, Amazon Echo.

The Google Home device was announced at the Google I/O earlier this year, however its today that we are finally getting a good look at it. The device looks pretty unique and is remarkable different from Amazon Echo and other contemporaries. In fact, due to a reason I cant quite put my finger on, it reminds me of Wall-E. And if Google is to be believed, it is just as smart — well, almost.

Google says that you can shout out commands from all the way across a noisy room. The cool machine learning stuff that has been packed inside Google Home will be able to differentiate random noise from spoken commands and will be able to let the device respond accordingly.

Google says that its Home device packs best in class voice recognition. So Google is basically saying that it is better than Amazon Echo. Its certainly a tall claim the company is making, however the Google Home device looks quite capable to living up to expectations.

The device also has as built in mute button that will be able to completely mute it and prevent anyone from listening in to you — in case you are afraid that someone might use the device to check you out while you are talking to yourself.

As per Rishi Chandra, Product Manager for Home,

Google Home can also tap into curated playlists from Google Music.

So, you can ask it to play stuff suited to your mood and taste. For example,

Ok Google — Play 80s workout music.

And play it will. You can also chose your default music provider from amongst Spotify, YouTube and Google Music and Home will know where to start streaming from, the next time you ask it for some music.

Another really cool ability that might just let Home trump competition is the ability to figure out your questions correctly and search and bring their answers. After almost 2 decades of solving the problems of the human race, Google has gotten pretty good at it and that is something that will be used by Google Home to its advantage. So, you can basically have the device around and shout stuff at it like “Which movie won the most oscars?”, “Who invented Beer”, “Which is the strongest move in Naruto Shippuden”…. and so on. Pretty handy, right?

Home will simply read off the answers from some of the top rated links returned in answer to your search queries. The tech behemoth has really nailed it with making Assistant the central feature across its devices. You can ask it to make changes to your schedule or shopping list while using Home and can then pull up the same exact list on your Pixel. You can also use it to control Chromecast — like, “Google, play some Akon on my TV” and voilà!

The company has also partnered up with a bunch of manufacturers, such as Nest, Phillips, Samsung and IFTTT, and will also integrate support for their smart home devices through its Google Home, as wellSo if you are thinking of smartening up your home — or if you already have connected devices — Google Home could prove to be a pretty great option to automate and control them through.

It really makes you wonder why Google didn’t make Assistant central to its universe earlier. However, better late than never and with the vast portfolio of devices the company has now, Assistant is going to be more useful than ever. And lets not forget folks, putting Assistant at the center of all its devices is also going to generate tons of data for Google — and as we know, data is as valuable as gold at the moment. Apart from using it to improve its own systems, Google could also use the data to produce valuable insights in all sorts of verticals.

The device will go on sale next month and Google has kept to a pretty competitive price of $129.

Heads up Echo, Google Home is here.


A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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