Google voice-controlled smart-home hub could give Amazon Echo a run for its money

How many Google devices do you have in your home? We’re not talking about Android smartphones or tablets, either – primarily mobile devices. We mean things like a Chromecast, Android TV box, or maybe an OnHub router. Whatever the current number, do you have room for one more? We might have to start thinking about that question, as a new report claims that Google’s looking to create a physical embodiment of its voice-powered search and and personal assistant services, building a piece of hardware that would compete directly with Amazon’s Echo.

After all, the Amazon Echo has proven to be a bit of a surprise hit, with strong holiday-season sales and the recent launch of some pint-sized models offering similar feature sets. Google already has a robust voice-driven software package on Android mobile devices, so if there’s a demand out there for an in-home appliance that does the same sort of thing, why wouldn’t Google want to tap into that market?

The rumor stems from a story about Nest’s adjustments fitting in to the larger Google (or Alphabet, we suppose) family, and the resistance the Nest team saw when trying to work on a smart-home hub – because other departments at Google were already building just such a device.

Unfortunately, as this is more of an aside to a larger story, we don’t have a ton of details about Google’s effort. Would it end up being something that looks like Echo – so, kinda like the existing OnHub models? Would Google go for a smaller, less intrusive device? From release plans to pricing, we don’t have a lot of very pertinent details right now, but it sure makes for an interesting story, especially as IoT and connected-home products become more and more prevalent.

With a little luck, we just might hear something about Google’s plans at I/O in May.

Source: The Information
Via: Phone Dog

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!