We got a sneak peak of Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo earlier this year at Google I/O. Called “Google Home”, the standalone personal assistant responds to users’ voice commands and queries from just about anywhere in a room while simultaneously disguised as a decorative air freshener. Today, we are given a more exclusive look at what exactly Google Home can do.
On the surface, it might appear as though Google is attempting to rival the Echo with Google Home, but that doesn’t truly appear to be the case. Where Amazon’s Echo focuses on what Amazon does best – commerce – Google appears to want Home to connect users more openly with Google’s own ecosystem – manage everyday tasks with MyDay, stream music and video, control aspects of your home like your Chromecast, Nest products, and various other products that can be automated through voice activation, ask queries via Ask Google, and talk to Google’s newest conversational AI, Google Assistant (also available in the Allo app). Google Home can also work with other Google Homes in your house, and is contextually aware. For example, you can play music across all speakers, but only one speaker will respond to queries.
So, Google Home can do a lot of cool stuff, but it's still pretty different from Amazon's Echo or Dot.
Design-wise, the Google Home is said to be designed after home decor items, like candles. It's a mostly white color that allows for some level of customization with 6 swappable bases. The top of Google Home features multi-colored LEDs when it's operating and listening to voice activations. The top also serves as a capacitive touch panel, which one could use do certain tasks like adjusting the volume or pausing/playing the music.
Google Home will retail for $129, and come with 6 months of YouTube Red for free. Pre-orders begin today in the U.S., with the device officially being available on November 4th.