Amazon’s Echo will soon get some real competition as Google gears up to launch its Home smart connected speaker in the United Kingdom this spring. According to Rick Osterloh, Google’s Vice President of Hardware, Home’s “artificial intelligence skills and vast data” will give it the edge over Amazon’s voice-activated wireless speaker.
Released on November 4 of last year for $129, Home currently sells in the United States.
Amazon’s Echo range of speakers have been available in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany since September of last year.
It’s unclear if Apple is working on an Echo-like device of its own.
The Information reported back in May 2016 that Apple’s Siri-powered accessory would have a wireless speaker and always-on microphone so you could play music, get news headlines, set timers and accomplish other tasks simply by using your voice.
Bloomberg reported in September that the device was in prototype testing, but analyst Tim Bajarin is convinced that rather than building an Amazon Echo rival Apple is actually focused on turning Siri into a ubiquitous feature across its device lineup.
“After talking with Apple executives, I’ve come away with the impression that they’re more interested in turning Siri into an omnipresent artificial assistant across devices, rather than designing a single device specifically to serve as a Siri machine,” he said.