Google’s home assistant, called Google Home, could become the main competitor to the Amazon Echo Dot, which released its second generation of devices earlier this week. The device was announced at the Pixel event yesterday, as expected, along with the Pixel phones, its VR headset, Chromecast Ultra, and Google WiFi.
With a nearly identical approach to Amazon’s device, the household companion will be able to assist with tasks that include Google searches, playing music, and controlling various indoor appliances.
Users are expected to purchase more than one, to cover their entire houses with Google Assistant, the voice-activated helper made famous by Android smartphones. Home will answer to the same command handsets use which is “Ok Google.”
Price, availability, and features
Google’s blog will launch Home in November. Consumers can already pre-order it for a starting price of $129. Seller sites include the Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Purchase includes a 6-month free subscription to YouTube Red, an ad-free version of the site.
Google Home plans to add most music services to its command roster. Starting options now allow customers to play music from Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, TuneIn and YouTube Music. IHeartRadio (already available for the Echo) is coming soon.
The device allows users to play the same song on all of their Google Home speakers simultaneously through an option called Multi-Room. That does not mean that all of the pods will respond to “Ok Google” at the same time, only the one that’s closest to its owner.
The hardware build contains a dual passive radiator. In audio engineering, a passive radiator is a device that increases a speaker’s low-frequency range (i. e., the bass sounds) for it to sound like a larger speaker.
Two far-reaching omnidirectional microphones are installed on the device to keep track of a user’s voice, even when the music is playing at high volume.
What to expect in November
Google Search commands work with most topics giving consumers information about the weather, stock market, traffic, nutritional information, sports, curiosities, and more. The device works with Calendar for appointments and reminders.
The article promises Netflix and Google Photos for “the near future” and mentioned Home was currently functioning with PhilipsHue, Nest, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. More features will be announced later.
Source: Google Blog