It already seems clear how Google Assistant has played a major role in this year’s CES event. As in addition to the number of Google Assistant-related announcements which have come through directly from Google, there has also been a number of third-party devices announced with Google Assistant built-in, or at the very least, boasting compatibility with Google Assistant. One of the more interesting ones was the iHome iGV1, also known as the iHome Voice. What makes this one so immediately interesting is how well it seems to fit in with Google’s own Home line of products. It certainly seems to be cut from the same cloth as it boasts a very similar color scheme and to the point where not only is the unit split into two identifiable different portions, but the bottom portion seems to adopt a fabric casing which is again very similar to that sported by the original Google Home.
Another of the noteworthy design aspects is related to its purpose. As while most Google Assistant-equipped devices come in speaker form, the iHome iGV1 does not. Yes, it includes a speaker and therefore can act as a speaker when needed, but its primary purpose (presumably beyond Google Assistant functionality) is to be an alarm clock. While that may seem like a dated concept for a device in 2018, the iHome iGV1 seems to pull the feat off quite well. As in spite of the alarm clock being the main purpose, most will probably only see it as a secondary feature. Something you are getting for free when buying the Google Home-lookalike device. With the alarm clock also comes a number of hardware buttons (positioned on the top of the device) which not only allow the user to set the time, but also initiate pairing, control music playback, and of course, manually activate Google Assistant.
In terms of being an alarm clock - and including alarm clock-necessary features such as a snooze button - the iHome iGV1's display is a dimmable display. So while this is designed to wake you up in the morning, the display can be dimmed completely to ensure it does not interfere with the owner’s sleep. For those who opt not to dim the display, the display will detail the current time, as well as the time the alarm is set for. To some, this might seem like a basic display (and especially compared to the array of video and photo-focused displays coming through as part of the new wave of ‘smart displays’), but this is still more display-focused than Google’s own Home line of devices. While also offering those that do not need all the bells and whistles associated with a display-first device, the option of one without the higher price tag attached.
Speaking of which, while iHome has yet to detail exact availability for the iHome iGV1, it is expected to become available within the coming months in the US. As for the price, the iHome iGV1 is expected to launch at $139.99 marking a slight increase over the cost of the official Google Home. Although here you are getting all the features (and much of the design) of a Google Home married with an alarm clock, a radio player (with support for both online and Bluetooth streaming included), and a bedside charger - yes, it is also able to charge a smartphone thanks to the inclusion of a USB port on the back.