Ever since Amazon released the Amazon Echo over a year ago, the tech world has been awaiting Google’s competitor. The excitement really ramped up earlier this month when some leaks reported that Google was working on a competitor codenamed “Chirp.” Well it looks like those leaks have been proved true at Google I/O today; meet Google’s new home assistant Google Home!
A little over 20 minutes into the I/O keynote, CEO Sundar Pichai called up Mario Queiroz, the executive behind the new product, to explain what Google Home is all about. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Queiroz is the genius behind the immensely popular Chromecast. Seeing as the man behind the fantastic Chromecast is behind this product, it naturally works a lot like a chromecast, but takes it a whole lot further.
The Google Home is a small speaker which plugs into the wall that contains hyper-sensitive microphones to hear you from anywhere in your home. Just bark out “Ok Google” and the Google Home is ready to do do almost anything you could ask of it. How many stars are in the galaxy? When is my package going to be delivered? Ask your new assistant any of these things and, just like asking your phone, Google will chirp out the correct answer.
So you may not be all that impressed because, like I said, your phone or tablet could already do this, but this new assistant also can control your entire home. Google Home can work with your Nest thermostat as well as other, supported, connected devices in the home to control them with simple words. Say “Ok Google, goodbye” and the Google Home will realize you are leaving the house, turning the lights and appliances off and setting your Nest to away mode. In addition to turning things off, if you have multiple Google Home’s or Chromecasts in your house you can command Google to do specific things in each room. After you ask Google to play your favorite song, you can then ask it to play throughout the house and all Google Homes or speakers connected to a Chromecast Audio will start playing your favorite song. Want to see highlights from last nights Raptors vs. Cavaliers game? Ask Google to show you highlights on the living room TV and, like magic, they will be cast onto the living room TV.
This Google Home looks pretty awesome. If you weren’t watching the I/O livestream then to get a great picture of how this new assistant might change your life you can check out the demo video above. It looks like Amazon will have a true competitor a little later this year, let the battle for the home begin!