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Google finally revealed more details around their Google Home assistant product on Oct 4th 2016. They also allow now pre-orders to be placed for their official release date of Nov 4th 2016.

Google is now entering the Voice control market, after they announced earlier this year working on an “Alexa like product but much better”. At the Oct 4th 2016 Google event, where Google announced a variety of new products and product refreshes, they provided a detailed insight into the new Google Home product line.

Let’s go over their major features and functions announced for Google Home. The appearance is the first item Google addressed by offering a variety of textures and colors to chose from. Amazon Echo is also available in white now and so will be the Echo Dots, when they are released October/E 2016.

Here is a video from Google demonstrating some use cases for Google Home.  Check it out.

A very important part of any voice assistant product line is their interoperability with “smart devices”. Alexa from Amazon has a huge head start, but Google is now starting and investing heavily in this area as well. Here is a comparison chart between Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Google Home

$130
  • Always listening
  • Command acknowledgement
  • Shopping List
  • Music Streaming
  • Smart Home integrations (Nest, Hue, IFTTT, Smartthings)
  •  Direct Music stream to different rooms via App: Yes
  • Direct Music stream to different rooms via Voice: Yes
  • Group Music stream on multiple Google Home devices: Yes, using Google Cast
  • Attach external speakers via Bluetooth: No
  • Attach external speakers via Direct-In cable: No
  • Connect mobile phone via Bluetooth (A2DP): Yes
  • Conversational commands: Yes
  • Spatial Perception (nearest device responds): Yes, starting Nov 2016

Amazon Echo

$180
  • Always listening
  • Command acknowledgement
  • Shopping List
  • Music Streaming (Prime Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Amazon Music)
  • Smart Home integrations (Nest, Hue, IFTTT, Smartthings, Wemo, Insteon, TP Link, Ecobee and many more through skills)
  •  Direct Music stream to different rooms via App: Yes
  • Direct Music stream to different rooms via Voice: No
  • Group Music stream on multiple Alexa devices: No
  • Attach external speakers via Bluetooth: No
  • Attach external speakers via Direct-In cable: No, but Echo Dot supports this
  • Connect mobile phone via Bluetooth (A2DP): Yes
  • Conversational commands: No
  • Spatial Perception (nearest device responds): Yes, starting Oct/E 2016

Far-Field Speaker comparison

Comparing the two systems

The Google Home Speaker seems impressive around all corners and in all directions. Once the product is released more detailed sound comparisons can be conducted.

The Alexa Speaker has proven to be quite impressive in terms of sound quality and base waves. Given the size of that product, the sound it produces is quite excellent.

In summary:

Google is releasing a major competitor to Amazon’s Echo Alexa family. It lacks in some areas, while it has an advantage in other areas. In the end the ease of use, the integration and interoperability options will drive customer adoption. In either way, competition in the market place is always good because it benefits the end consumer… us!

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This blog and tweets represent my own view points and not of my employer, Amazon Web Services.

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