It's all about smarter homes - and Google wants a piece of the pie. Its Google Home speaker, priced $129 and launching on November 4 in the US, is a Wi-Fi-connected, voice-controlled speaker designed to act as the hub of the home.
The speaker, via Google Assistant, can action a range of requests - all powered by your voice. So whether you want to use it to play music, to answer questions, or to integrate with smart home devices - such as Nest, Philips Hue and Samsung Smart Things - to make things happen by the power of voice.
At its core, as a speaker, many will use Google Home for music. It's compatible with YouTube Music and Google Play Music, of course, but also your favourite go-to services such as Spotify, Pandora and iHeart radio. It will learn your app preferences over time, rather than always defaulting to the Google-based apps.
Available in three colour variations - Mango, Marine and Violet bases join Carbon, Snow and Copper tops - there are options to suit a variety of homes. The top panel also houses a capacitive touch panel to trigger physical controls, so you don't always have to shout.
The Google Home speaker arrives hot on the heels of Amazon's Echo, which includes the Alexa voice assistant to handle many of the same kind of requests (defaulted to Amazon-based apps). It's competition time in the world of smart home. Google, however, claims to have the best-in-class voice recognition and it's possible to mute the mic for total control as and when you want it to listen.
No final word on UK pricing or availability for Google Home - other than it's "coming soon". But if it follows the footprint of Amazon's path then we anticipate the US will kick things off with the UK following later down the line.
For the full ins and outs about Google Home, click the link below to read our full What is Google Home? feature.