Google is expected to launch Google Home next week at its press event in San Francisco. It was actually first announced at Google I/O earlier this year, as a competitor to Amazon's Echo. Now the device is rumored to actually be launching and be available fairly soon after the October 4th event. But the hardware is only part of it. The Google Assistant that lives inside of Google Home is arguably a much bigger deal, and Google knows it. According to a report out of Variety this week, Google has already gotten a slew of partners on board to build third-party hardware that uses Google Assistant, and likely Google Cast - another major part of Google Home.
According to the report, Google already has some "of the biggest names in home audio" on board, who were at a secret meeting following Google I/O in May. They are allegedly going to have a number of products ready to go by next summer. Which may seem like its pretty far away, but it really isn't, when talking about building new hardware. This is important for the Google Assistant to get used as much as Google wants it to be. This is also how Google is going to be able to take over your entire home, just like they took over the living room with Google Cast or Chromecast.
These hardware products include "speakers with integrated microphones and a connection to Google's Assistant" which means they will likely have Google Cast support as well. A platform that Google has steadily been improving over the past few years, and have a number of apps already available. Which means the only thing standing in the way is hardware. Google Cast is pretty simple to operate, just connect to the Cast device from your smartphone and you can throw basically anything onto the TV or speaker (at this point, those are the only hardware products available for Google Cast).
Bringing in third-parties for hardware with both Google Cast and the Google Assistant is going to be a big deal, and it's how Google is going to get Google Home off the ground. It's rumored to be priced at $129, which is lower than the Amazon Echo, but still likely more than what most people are willing to spend on the device. This is where more options come in, thanks to third parties.