Google has taken the lid off its next home device, and is preparing to bring an AI assistant into houses. Called Google Home, the device is essentially a more benign version of Tony Stark’s JARVIS and performs the same functions in that it is able to play music, control household appliances, and perform other tasks.
Google Home runs on voice commands; in fact, the device lacks any buttons. On the outside, it looks like what would happen if Apple designed the Amazon Echo; albeit with and additional built in speaker and Google themed lights on the top. Interestingly, Google CEO Sundar Pichai even gave credit to Amazon for starting the hype for this sort of device.
The Google Home hub connects to the internet and takes advantage of the new Google Assistant, which allows users to interact with Google’s services in a more conversational manner. The device is also capable of connecting with other devices in the home, and Google envisions that Home will become the central command centre for the household.
It will also integrate with other popular home control systems, including the Google own Nest devices. With the proper setup, the Google Home will be able to adjust the lights, change the air-conditioning settings, and possibly even lock doors.
While controlling these devices, Google Home is able to stream music from the cloud to any connected speakers, or project video to television sets. It can also play music on its own through its in-built speaker.
The AI assistant portion of Google Home is essentially what Google Now is at the moment. It is capable of performing tasks like setting reminders, looking up schedules, checking weather and traffic, and performing Google searches. It then relays the information through the speaker; essentially replying like a human would.
Google Home will be available later this year, with the device expected to arrive in the fall. Google is not saying how much this will cost, and it is incredibly difficult to guess how something like this will be priced.