Google’s been knocking on the door of your home for years. But it’s way past time for it to come in and join the party.
When it comes to interpreting your voice and feeding back relevant information, nobody does it better than this company. Especially when it comes to putting it into a product that can be conveniently tucked away in a corner, or on display for all to see.
If you’re thinking Google, you’re wrong.
I’m talking, of course, about Amazon Echo, and its “Alexa” personification. A report last week from The Information (behind a paywall, but this link should work for a bit) says that Google is working on an Echo competitor.
That news is, at best, unsurprising.
Google is working on a device to compete directly with Amazon’s popular Echo, a voice-controlled personal assistant and portable speaker.
Nest wanted to be part of the project within Google but was rebuffed by the person in charge of Google’s project.
Google already employs technology similar to Echo in its Android mobile operating system and it makes sense to bring that expertise into the home, where Google and Nest are competing head on with Amazon, Apple and countless other companies. It’s unclear when Google will release the device and there’s still a chance it won’t be released at all.
Echo doesn’t do anything in particular that Google hasn’t done in some way for years. Voice recognition? Yep. Knowledge Graph search results for random questions about lots of things? Absolutely. Streaming music? Sure. Google does all that.
The question isn’t whether Google’s working on an Echo competitor — it’s why the hell hasn’t there been one all this time.
— Phil Nickinson ✘ (@philnickinson) March 24, 2016
What it’s failed to do is bring it all together into one compelling package. Chromecast is great (especially at its price), but it’s a dongle