Upcoming 'Google Home' could be a breakthrough home-automation device

By Adamya Sharma | Published on 18 May 2016
Upcoming 'Google Home' could be a breakthrough home-automation device

As per a report by The New York Times, Google's voice controlled, AI based speaker could be called the 'Google Home', and it could just be the ultimate home automation hub.

Google I/O, the Mountain View tech giant's annual developer conference, is a little less than 6 hours away from kicking-off, and is expected to feature some exciting new announcements from the company. Apart from finally finding out what Android N stands for and how Project Tango is shaping up, another breakthrough announcement expected from the company comes from the home-automation space. 

Most of you must have heard of Google's Project chirp by now. Chirp is a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled, artificial intelligence enabled speaker that connects to Amazon's cloud-based Alexa voice service to not only play music from services such as Spotify and  iHeartRadio, but also check information such as weather & traffic conditions and control other third-party home devices like Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon and Nest. 

Now, as per a report from The New York Times, code-named Project Chirp will be called 'Google Home', indicating that it could be a device that will help control all other internet enabled Android devices in your home. 

Although Amazon did release a skills kit for Alexa, a collection of APIs which allows developers to build third-party apps and functionality into the Echo, the speaker remains a niche product for home owners, at a price point of $179 (Rs. 11,984). So why will 'Google Home' change the game?

Well, unlike Amazon, Google enjoys command over a billion plus Android devices sold over the world. According to a report by data analytics firm IDC, the Android OS on smartphones dominated the market with 82.8% share in 2015. So just keeping the extent of Android smartphone adoption in mind, the upcoming Google Home device could help users interact with all their Android based apps using voice control. Of course, Google will have to provide an API for the same, but nonetheless, imaginine having your Facebook notifications read out to you while you cook dinner in your kitchen!

Furthermore, Google's other home entertainment products could also be controlled using the Google Home hub. For example, you could use voice search to browse and play movies on the Google Chromecast, you could also operate your Android TVs without a smart remote or your smartphone. Owing to its sheer popularity, Google is also expected to attract industry leaders in the home-automation space, which could give users the ability to control a number of smart home devices through their Google Home hub. 

Although it is still early days to predict what Google Home could or could not do in the future, the fact that the hub is expected to integrate the Google Now assistant, and that the company already enjoys majority for its ecosystem in the market, it could be the game changing home-automation gadget we have all been waiting for.

Adamya Sharma

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

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