As Google I/O kicks off on Wednesday, rumor has it that the search giant will be debuting a new rival to Amazon Echo. Whether it’s called Google Home or Google Chirp or, the device represents a new dive into artificial intelligence.
According to the New York Times, Google’s voice-activated gadget will be called Google Home, confirming what Recode had already reported about the “Google Chirp” that will be unveiled at the I/O developer showcase in Mountain View, California.
Both reports referred to the same rumor: Google will unveil a small home device, that will incorporate Google’s voice software into something similar to Google’s OnHub Wi-Fi router.
Back in 2014, Google added the “trigger word” support to the Android OS, which allowed phones to start listening to the “OK Google” command. This is most likely to be included in the Google Home, as well.
Already on the shelves is Amazon’s Echo, a small home device that doubles as a loudspeaker and a microphone. Powered by Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based digital assistant, Echo can report sports scores and compile shopping lists, set your alarm clock and kitchen timer, and so much more.
But one of the things that Amazon has done really well is integrate the Echo with all of Amazon’s Amazon Prime services. Thus, it can play back Prime music collections and audiobooks, as well as ordering items from Amazon with the user’s voice commands.
But Google won’t disappoint either because it has the resources to do all that and more. Its own collection of services – such as Google Play Music or Google Express – could also be integrated with the home device.
One question remains still on the minds of developers: will third-party apps be allowed to tap into the Google Home device via an API? When Echo was launched, Amazon was quick to enable service providers and third-party developers to make use of Alexa, but the results have been mixed.
Maybe this is why Google has taken this long to unveil a home device; it needed to make sure it could support third-party service apps without glitches.
Details about the shipping date or the price of Google’s home device are yet unknown. If it wants to be a worthy rival for Amazon’s Echo, it cannot be a lot more pricey than $180.
Image Source: Best of Micro