Back at Google IO in May Google announced their competitor to the Amazon Echo, Google Home. It is a Wifi smart home device with built in Google Assistant. Not only can it provide information from the Internet to the user but also set alarms and timers, manage todo lists and shopping lists, control home automation products, play music and other media and cast this media to your appropriate Chromecast-enabled TV via voice commands. Not only can you use the Google Home device to cast media to another Chromecast-enabled device such as a TV but you can also cast to Google Home itself.
Google Home uses Google Assistant “at its core” which attempts to understand the context of the question and answer appropriately. Assistant learns from experience and improves the more you use it and is designed to be each person’s individual Google. The use of the Assistant allows the user to control their Chromecasting via voice controls. Through this you can:
- turn the volume down — “turn it down”
- ask for your favourite song, album or artist from many apps including YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and soon, iHeart Radio
- the ability to ask for a playlist within the context of your question — ‘Ok Google Play 80’s Workout music’ breaks into a bit of “don’t you forget about me”
- play a song you don’t know using the context of your query — ‘OK Google play that Shakira song from Zootopia’
- Get answers from Google which uses the knowledge graph in a hands-free way
Google Home can also be used to control the smart devices within your home such as NEST, Smart Things, Philips and IFTTT and you can control individual devices or rooms. There is the ability to setup multiple Google Home devices within your house with Google Home designed to be contextually aware with the Home device that hears the command the best being the only one that will respond to any questions. Simply, ask your question and the right device will respond.
Users will receive a 6 months free trial of YouTube Red. Google Home comes with customisable bases which are available in six options: Fabric — Mango, Marine and Violet — and Metal — Carbon, Snow and Copper.
Recently we have seen several rumours regarding Google Home including a supposed pricing. Now it is official. Google Home will be available for pre-order for $129USD from today, shipping on November 4th. At this stage Google Home is US-only but Google are looking to bring it to more countries soon.