With the exciting news that Google Home is due to land on UK soil shortly (06/04/2017) what better time than now to take a good look at what’s to come.
For those not up to speed Google Home is officially a “hand-free smart speaker” but that’s an understatement if ever I saw one. I’d describe it as a voice activated virtual assistant, always connected, waiting to help you in any way that it can. The device has been out in the states for some time now so we have a good idea of what to expect here.
There’s so many things you can do with this powerful gadget, some of the more practical tasks are asking questions, managing your day/calendar, setting reminders, hearing the news, playing music, controlling other smart home automation devices, the list goes on.
Picture this, you’re in the kitchen cooking, you’ve got your hands all gunky with a raw chicken, you need to set a timer for 10 minutes, rather than wash your hands so you can get out your phone and set the timer you say “OK Google, set a timer for 10 minutes”. Boom, done, it’s that simple. Want to know how many ounces in a litre? Ask. Want to know what the recipe for a potato leek bake is? Ask. Just remembered you need some milk? Ask… “OK Google, add milk to my shopping list”. It’s such a simple concept, it works like something from a sci-fi movie.
The assistant looks like some kind of contemporary ornament, it’s easy on the eyes and certainly wouldn’t stick out like an eye sore in any modern home. It looks more like a fancy candle than a smart device. It’s sloped on top and has four LED lights in the standard Google brand colours. On the back of the device there’s a mute button should you want a little bit of privacy. At the base of the device is a coloured speaker grille, if you’d like to mix it up a bit, you can customise it by changing the base of the device, you can pick up a coloured fabric base for £18 or a metal one for £36.
You’ll be able to link more than one device in your home, with the way the A.I. is setup you’ll be able to have a conversation that you can carry over into different rooms. It’ll flow like a conversation too as Google can handle follow up questions to whatever it is you were talking about previously.
Google are going to have their work cut out taking this market, currently Amazon Echo is absolutely dominating it, with more compatible smart devices going for it and a well-established foothold, Amazon are dug in but it sounds like Google are gearing up for a fight. The Home is expected to be sell for £129, at the time of writing this you can get an Echo for £149.99, that’s a price difference of £20.99.
I think one of the biggest positives for this device is the fact that it’s Google powered, they’re the top dogs for a reason. Google know what they’re doing and have a great reputation for delivering fantastic products. I’m not sure who’s going to win this fight but I do know one thing – I’ll be getting a Google Home myself.
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