Google announces voice-activated smart home hub 'Google Home' at IO 2016

By Adamya Sharma | Updated 19 May 2016
Google announces voice-activated smart home hub 'Google Home' at IO 2016
  • Google Home can not only stream songs from your favourite music services, but can manage everyday tasks through simple voice commands.

As we predicted, Google has arrived in the consumer IoT space! Google Home is coming to your living room sometime later this year as confirmed by CEO, Sundar Pichai, at the company's annual developer conference - Google I/O 2016. Mario Queiroz, VP, Project Management at Google is the brain behind the project which was code named Project Chirp for the longest time. Incidentally, he also brought the Chromecast to life back in 2013 

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At first glance, the Google Home looks like an attractive and edgy little speaker, compact enough to travel around the house and maybe even outside. The smart voice-activated speaker powered by Google's latest voice assistant will act as your own personal 'Jarvis', searching anything and everything on Google, running your smart home appliances, browsing and playing movies & music on Google Chromecast, keeping reminders and lots more. 
 

If Google's demo of the device is anthything to go by, the best part about the Google Home seems to be its inteligent understanding of natural human language and conversation. Google's work in natural language processing capabilities shows strong in the entire array of announcements made at Google I/O 2016. Google Home is perhaps a step too close in Amazon Echo's territory, but Google's stronghold in search and the smart devices' ecosystem could crush the Echo which is taking its own sweet time to grow in popularity.

Since Google is opening the doors for developers to build around the Google Home, the device could control an array of internet connected gadgets such as smart switches, air conditioners, televisions, door locks, music systems and more. So if you have the Chromecast Audio hooked on to your speaker system, you could just tell Google Home to play your favourite tune and it will work with the Chromecast Audio to make it happen. 

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Spontaneity and ability to understand natural language will be Google Home's forte. The mountain view based tech giant could not stress enough on the ease of use and deep understanding of language patterns of the new Google Assistant, which is also coming to other devices in the Google ecosystem. 

Although the price and the exact date of availability of the Google Home was not mentioned at the event, you can now register to get updates about the same on the Google Home webpage.  If Google Home meets set expectations, we think Google deserves all the chest thumping for the Google Home, except maybe the credit for the concept should go to Amazon. While we can't wait to see what developers build for Google Home, what do you think about Google's new announcements from IO 2016? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Adamya Sharma
Managing editor, Digit.in - News Junkie, Movie Buff, Tech Whizz!
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