Yesterday, Google announced a major software update for its Home smart wireless speaker that enables it to support and distinguish up to six separate users, with each person receiving their own personalized results. Powered by Google Assistant, the wireless speaker can now distinguish your voice from others, a feature TIME claims Amazon's been developing in secrecy for its Echo family of smart devices.
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.
Home, the search giant's always-listening Amazon Echo rival that was announced at Google I/O 2016, is basically a “dressed up” version of the company's $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle, claims a paywall'd article published by The Information.
It's a bit odd that Google's upcoming device doesn't run Android—it's powered by the same Linux-based OS used on the Chromecast—though Google has reportedly discussed using Android for the next version of Home.
During the keynote presentation this morning which kicked off Google I/O 2016, the Internet giant previewed its much-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market in the form of a new appliance, named Google Home.
With a built-in Google Assistant that also powers Duo, a new smart messaging app coming to iOS and Android this summer, Home lets you retrieve information from the Internet, get answers to simple questions and carry out basic tasks—using your voice and the familiar “OK Google” wakeup phrase.