While the world of technology slowly moves more towards the Internet of Things, more and more companies are setting out to develop products for the market. None may perhaps be as popular as the Amazon Echo however, a smart speaker powered by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant voice software, capable of responding with contextual answers and able to do anything for its users from order pizza to setting the temperature on a Nest smart thermostat. While Amazon currently enjoys a seat at the top of the IoT market, Google is now said to be developing a smart speaker of their own to rival Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, which would presumably offer many of the same capabilities and come powered by Google’s own machine learning and speech recognition software.
Should Google look to build a smart speaker that could take on the Echo family of devices, it comes at a great time for the company as they just recently announced yesterday that they’re launching a new speech API, called the Google Cloud Speech API which they’re opening up to third-party developers. Utilizing this newly open software, developers would be able to help integrate commands and more functionality for a Google smart speaker to make it more powerful and offer more features, not too unlike the Amazon Echo. Interestingly enough, Amazon has also recently opened up the Alexa Voice Service to third-party developers to help further the capabilities of the Alexa Virtual Assistant and make the Echo family of speakers more powerful as well.
At the moment there aren’t any actual official details about the Google smart speaker, however it has been rumored that Google is working on one and that the Nest team had requested to be part of the project, only to be turned down by the team lead at Google working on the device. With no official confirmation from Google about the product nor any rumors of specifics, there’s no information about a time for launch or what the product might cost, but if it’s truly meant to be a competitor to the Amazon Echo, Google will have to make sure that the price point is competitive enough to capture the attention of the consumer who is already well familiar with Amazon’s own offering, which now also has two more options at a lower price than the original Echo smart speaker.