Many tech savvy Aussies would be well aware of Amazon’s home assistant, the Echo, which can respond to a host of voice commands, and while Amazon hasn’t yet shown any inclination to launch it abroad, Google may be working on their own version.
The report on a Google equivalent to the Amazon Echo comes from paywalled site The Information, who spoke about a “secret Google project to create a competitor to Amazon’s echo”, in a story about Google, now Alphabet, subsidiary Nest. According to the report, Google is building the device apparently much to Nest’s frustration, but there’s no price, specs, features to mull over just yet.
There’s very little information to go on, however it’s a good fit with Google’s voice commands on Android working well, and Google Now information quite well received – so a home assistant could be a good move for Google.
There is of course a perceived danger from some people who think a Google controlled, always listening device in your house could be a bad thing for privacy and security.
Google did start making moves into home automation and the Internet of Things last year with Brillo and Weave, but beyond the promise of compatibility in their OnHub routers – which so far are still only available in the US – we’ve only seen limited products announced. A Smart Home assistant tied into using these protocols could be a good first step into many people’s home.
It’s still a completely unverified rumour at this stage, but perhaps we’ll see something released at Google I/O in a couple of months.