Google launched its Home speakers in the US back in October. At the ongoing MWC event Barcelona, the search giant has announced the speaker will be launched in the UK by the end of June. It’ll compete with Amazon’s Echo range coming out this year.
The Home speakers will go up against Amazon’s Echo speaker range that has been available in the UK from September last year, reports BBC. Echo clearly has a six-month lead compared to Home. The device is powered by an artificial intelligence software that assists users, and unlike Alexa AI from Amazon, the Google AI is capable of answering follow-up answers to initial requests by looking into Microsoft’s Bing search tool and Wikipedia. As per the publication, it “also taps into the firm’s market-leading Google Search service.”
“The trick… in these products is trying to really understand what people are asking for,” firm’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said. “We’ve got so much history with people using our search products and people using voice queries through Android phones… that we’re able to much better answer these types of questions. All this data really helps in us making sure we understand what the user is looking for.”
Meanwhile, according to reports, Amazon’s Alexa will soon be able to distinguish voices to address issues like accidental activation and will also help to limit purchase. There’s no word on whether Google is attempting to create an AI in the same line.
“In the short term, Amazon has the better chance because it has developed a large platform connected to many other smart products in the sector,” says Annette Zimmermann from the Gartner tech consultancy. “But in the long term, given that Google has a lot of capacity round its search capabilities and is investing deeply into artificial intelligence, it probably has the better prospects.”
Back in December last year Microsoft teased an Amazon Echo rival. Powered by the smart assistant Cortana, Microsoft ins in the brinks of launching the first voice-controlled speaker. Microsoft plans to bring the technology to other smart home equipment like fridges, thermostats, and toasters.