At Google I/O earlier this month, Google unveiled their much anticipated and rumored smart speaker. It's named 'Google Home' and is seen as a direct competitor to Amazon's Echo speaker which has their own virtual assistant 'Alexa' inside. Google was pretty tight-lipped when it came to details on Google Home, basically just telling us it'll be available later this summer, and that it has the newly announced Google Assistant inside. It now appears that this product is essentially just a Chromecast built into a speaker. At least, according to a report out of The Information today.
The report does mention that the current version that was shown off at Google I/O has a Chromecast inside, including the same microprocessor and WiFi chip, with a speaker, microphone, plastic casing and some LED lights surrounding it. Now where the product isn't yet shipping and won't be for a few more months. It is entirely possible that the hardware could change before it launches in the summer. As we've seen that often times with hardware that is announced months before it is actually available on the market.
Google's VP of product management, Mario Queiroz is in charge of Google Home, and he was also the one that created Chromecast. Making it less of a surprise that Google Home is really just a Chromecast baked into a speaker. The Chromecast has been Google's only real success in the living room, and that's due to how cheap Chromecast is and how easy it is to use, especially when compared to its competitors like Roku, Apple TV and even the Amazon Fire TV family. While Google Home likely won't be as cheap as Chromecast – although it will likely be cheaper than the Amazon Echo which is priced at $179, and Google Home's main competition right now – this is still good news for everyone. As it means that this is another cast-enabled device, and should work with your Chromecast Audio speakers and other Google Cast products throughout your home. We should have more information regarding Google Home in the next few weeks as we get closer to the product officially launching.