Google is bringing its Android assistant into your home with a home helper that’s a lot like Amazon Echo’s Alexa but promises to be even smarter.
Google Home looks like a small speaker, but it addition to enjoying music, the voice-activated device will allow you to connect to your smart home (and to all of your Nest products)
Just like Alexa you can ask it questions and do things like make lists and set reminders for yourself.
What makes it smarter than the average assistant is access to Google Assistant. Google Assistant is capable of machine learning. That means it should be able to learn things about you from your past behaviors and searches and customize what it does to suit your needs.
It can stream music directly from Google and your favorite music services, or play songs from devices using Google Cast. You can also use it to control other smart speakers in your home that are compatible with Google Cast. Home will also control your Smart TV.
If you want to know what’s on TV that night, it will take into account your past viewing preferences and likes and dislikes. Google Assistant operates across other Google platforms, such as the new smart messaging app Allo. You can also ask questions about everything from the news to the weather to obscure facts. The company promises that Home will be better able to handle complex questions than assistants like Cortana, Alexa, or Siri.
If the future, Google says you’ll be able to use Home to rent cars, order dinner, or send flowers. All with a voice commands.
You may have heard of my BTST test for new tech. It stands for Better Than Star Trek, meaning that it has met or exceeded the expectations for the future that I developed watching Star Trek as a kid. This seems a lot like the computer on the good old Star Ship Enterprise to me.
How well it will work in everyday use remains to be seen. Of course, to manage all of these tasks, Google needs to know an awful lot about you, your family, and your everyday behaviors. So there is a privacy trade-off the convenience of having an assistant.
Home is expected to be available later in the year.