Google can’t help facilitating our lives. As the New York Times says “Google knows more things about more people than any other company, organization or government in history”. Now Google has one more device to present – a new household “toy” called Google Home.
Google Home is activated by voice and has a rather compact size – not much bigger than a grapefruit.
Google announced the new device at the company’s annual developer conference however didn’t provide many details. The device was shown to the participators, but its features still seemed to be works in progress.
Google must have hurried to talk about Google Home as it feels that Amazon is hard on heels. “Credit to the team at Amazon for creating a lot of excitement in this space,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive.
Amazon has recently been a serious competitor on the Internet of Things market. It has the beta version of AWS IoT, a platform for processing data from the Internet of Things appliances that is expected to become the dominant system for the IoT. AWS IoT will integrate with Amazon Kinesis, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3, Lambda and Amazon Machine Learning to develop IoT applications.
“The IoT service will work across a range of protocols, Amazon says, and set automatic triggers to send data to other processing tools. Perhaps most interestingly, AWS IoT has a “shadow” mode, which keeps the latest virtual version of a device in the system for others to interact with, even if the actual device goes offline,” Forbes wrote.
Last year Amazon unveiled Echo, a device that provides various kind of information such as news, Wikipedia information or weather, on request of its user. In general, it looks like a screenless, voice-controlled household computer. Amazon has already sold millions of Echo devices for as much as $180. It is not difficult to imagine what profit Google has lost on the market. It is becoming rather obvious that Google is to compete with Amazon before the sales of the rival didn’t become overwhelming. Mr. Pichai pointedly noted that Google was “at a pivotal moment.”
Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, shares his impressions of Echo: “Before I got an Echo I thought it was a joke and a bad idea. But I saw the utility and ended up buying five of them for my family.”
For Google Home to stand out, he said, it would have to outdo the Echo, particularly in search. “You have to be able to ask it a complex question, and then it would go to the Internet and read it back to you. Echo doesn’t do a good job of that today.”
Google has already presented Google assistant — the company’s name for the ability to have a two-way conversation to get information. It will be available this summer in a messaging app called Allo and later in Google Home.