Google Unveils its Answer to the Amazon Echo

Google yesterday (September 4, 2016) unveiled a new line of products that include its voice-command software, “Google Assistant.” Among the new products is an electronic device called Google Home that is quite similar to Amazon’s Echo and its artificial intelligence, chatbot voice-command software, Alexa.


While called the Google Home, there are many things about the device that it might also be called the Google Small Business Office. Many of its features can be helpful in a small office setting.

Priced at $129 ($50 cheaper than the Echo), Google Home answers questions, controls smart home devices, and plays music. It responds to the same type of “OK Google” or “Alexa” or “Siri” conversation. It’s like the Echo in that it’s an appliance designed to stay at one place (however, there is a three-pack version that you can scatter around the office).

A get-ready-for-work feature is called “My Day” that will summarize your day as long as it has permission from you to access things like your calendar. In addition to calendar events, it will also read the time, current weather conditions, traffic information, and daily reminders.

It sounds similar to Amazon Echo’s daily briefing feature that also lets you incorporate news updates from sources like The Wall Street Journal. (You can also get such a feature via Audible.com if you subscribe to one of their monthly “point” plans.)

Google Home offers some smart home (or office) functionality, and it works out of the box with Alphabet’s Nest, Samsung’s SmartThings, and Phillips Hue light bulbs.

It’s available for preorder now and will ship November 4.

VIA | ArsTechnica