Amazon Echo . The smart speaker is powered by Google Assistant, a new AI-driven digital assistant from Google. Google Home will answer your questions, play music, and offer information on sports, news, flight, and weather, among other fancy skills.
What can Google Home do?
Google Home is essentially a speaker you can talk to. To make things interesting the speaker can reply you almost like a human would.
The speaker is driven by Google Assistant, a personal digital assistant (or a digital companion someday) that uses Google’s large repository of information and artificial intelligence to understand what you say and provide a befitting answer or response.
Google Home is always listening to sounds around it, but will not respond until it hears the activation word “ Okay Google “. It wakes at this point and listens for the question or command that follows.
You are provided with a mute button that stops the mic from listening and providing you with privacy.
Google Home is a smart speaker, so it is likely that the first things you may want to do with it is play music or listen to radio or or podcast. As at launch, the Smart Speaker supports music streaming services like YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc. Just say ‘Okay Google’ followed by your instruction like a playlist, music by a particular artist or genre.
Google Home can also answer your questions and provide information about the weather, sports scores, finance, and local businesses. If you permit the smart speaker, it will search your personal information and use it to provide a more personal assistance.
For example, Google Assistant can search your email and find that you have a flight booking. It can retrieve the time of the flight and use it to set a reminder, so you are not late for your flight. It can also provide information about traffic to the airport.
Google Home just like the Amazon Echo can be used to control other smart devices like smart thermostat. Google Home supports smart home brands like Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and IFTTT.
Control your Smart Home
Beyond answering your questions, offering useful information, or playing music, Google Home sits at the centre of your smart home. The device connects to other smart devices in your home and enables you control them with your voice.
At this time however, it does not support every smart device. Google is currently partnering with Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and IFTTT. More partners will be added in future.
You can control the temperature of your home by asking Google Assistant to adjust the Smart Thermostat like Nest. Your smart light bulbs can also be controlled by the device. You can even tell the Smart Speaker the particular room you want its light or temperature adjusted.
Combined with a Chromecast, Google Home can enable you use voice to control your TV. You can stream Netflix, control the volume of your TV, or send photos to your TV all through voice command.
Google Home Features
Google Home is a speaker first. It offers a high excursion speaker that delivers quality sound. You can use multiple Google Home devices each in different rooms and they will all sync and recognise each other.
When you give a voice command the device that hears you best responds. You can even have all the devices play the same song.
Google Home is equipped with far field microphones which ensures you do not need to be near the device to dish out commands. The base is customisable. You can change it to the colour or finish that suits you best.
Google Home can now be pre-ordered for $129 in the United States, but will start shipping in November.