When it comes to the Internet of Things, Amazon's Echo speaker has been a hugely popular offering in the market which has a large and continually growing list of functions. Just over the last couple of weeks it was rumored that Google would finally be putting out a product that would rival the Echo lineup, codenamed Chirp, and yesterday it was rumored that the product would be unveiled at the I/O developer conference today during the keynote speech, appropriately named "Google Home." Google has now officially announced the Google Home smart speaker.
Right now there is no exact release date that's been specified as Google simply notes that it will launch later this year, and at the moment they have not mentioned a price point for the launch. Google Home will be powered by what Google is calling Google Assistant, also announced and shown off at the Google I/O conference this morning, and it's always listening so that users can ask questions and initiate tasks seamlessly and effortlessly. Like the Echo, you plug it into the wall which means it doesn't have its own built-in power source, and while that means you can't freely pick it up and move it around without having to unplug it, you also won't have to worry about needing to recharge Google Home at any point in time either, and Google states this allowed them to make Home more powerful.
Just like the rumors, Google Home will feature a small, cylindrical shape similar to the OnHub router, but shorter, and arguably more visually appealing. The bottom half of Google Home features the speaker while the angled top features a set of LED lights that will blink as it processes your requests. It works in multiple rooms and is capable of connecting to other Google Home units, allowing you to ask it to do things like play music in multiple rooms, or turn on the lights in a specific room. It features Google Cast support so you can use it to send streams of media to Google Cast-enabled devices like TVs or speakers, and naturally it will work with a small list of smart home products like Nest thermostats and smart lights. Google mentions that for now, Home will not be as functional as Amazon's Echo speaker, but this is a decision they consciously made so they could take the time to build out how it's able to interact with its users in a more natural way. This means that APIs for both Google Assistant and Google Home are not available for developers, for now at least.