Google just revealed Google Home, an always listening speaker they’ll be releasing later this year to take on the Amazon Echo. Google Home is a small cylindrical speaker that responds to the phrase “OK Google” to answer questions and achieve tasks via Google’s voice assistant. It features an interchangable base which will come in several colors so that you can match it to you home’s decor. Home will integrate with many of the same services and smart home devices as the Amazon Echo, but one thing it does that Alexa can’t is control speakers and TVs around your house through Chromecast integration.
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners have been begging for Amazon to add cross communication between the Echo and Fire TV devices, but it looks like Google may beat them to the punch. Google Home can communicate with both Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices. Google’s demo video shows a playlist being started on the Google Home speaker, which was then synced to other non-Home speakers in the house, presumably through Chromecast Audio, by simply saying “ok Google, play music in all rooms.” Later in the video, a child asking Google Home about the Alpha Centauri star system says “can you show me that on the TV” and a YouTube video begins playing on the TV through a Chromecast.
Google Home won’t have the vast third-party support that Alexa currently has, but it does seem like it will integrate with Google’s own ecosystem of devices better than the Echo integrates with other Amazon devices. Pricing and release date information was not revealed, and the general tone of the announcement was that Google Home was still in very early stages.