Google Home is a smart speaker developed by Google as part of its "Made By Google" product line. The product stands as a rival to Amazon Echo in the smart speaker industry. It was released on November 4, 2016 for US$129.
In March 2016, reports were published about Google developing a wireless speaker to compete against the Amazon Echo.
Google Home was announced at Google I/O in May 2016, where it was also announced that Home would run Google Assistant (a conversational evolution of Google Now intended to be integrated in other products announced at I/O). On June 2016, it was confirmed that Home would use an optimized version of the Chromecast's software, while the hardware would support home automation software, allowing the user to control compatible products.
The product was released in the United States on November 4, 2016. A UK release date has been scheduled for Q2 2017.
Google has its services integrated into the operating system, and supporting commands and features similar to the Amazon Echo, such as streaming through Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. The intelligent personal assistant, Google Assistant, is included as the main and only primary assistant in the software and operating system of Google Home. Unlike its cousin, Google Now, Assistant is able to engage in two-way conversations. Google Home's product-management director Gummi Hafsteinsson pointed out that Google is employing writers such as those involved with Pixar movies and editors who have contributed jokes on The Onion to build a personality into the assistant. Google envisions a long-term feature of the assistant as being the ability to invoke a sense of emotional rapport in its users.
Google Home includes home automation as a feature, enabling owners to use it to control devices as a central hub. Google has partnered with Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and IFTTT for smart home device control with the Google Home device.
Borrowing from Chromecast's technology, Google Home is able to connect to multiple Home speakers wirelessly, reaching multiple rooms. Google Home can control a Chromecast, or any Google Cast-enabled device to streaming video or audio.
Google states that they will continue to partner with other companies to interface ("voice casting") the Google Home device with more services. As of February 2017, Google Home users have been able to shop, and place orders for, "everyday essentials" via a link-up with the company's own Google Express home delivery service.
Google Home is 5.62 inches (143 millimetres) high, and 3.79 inches (96 millimetres) in diameter. It weighs 16.8 ounces (480 grams). The design represents a modular cylindrical shape, and has 4 LEDs on the top that are in the same colors as Google's logo that indicate power. The top surface is a capacitive touch panel, which can be used to pause music, adjust volume, trigger the Google Assistant, etc.
Reports have surfaced that Google Home - due to its relation to Chromecast - has the same ARM processor and Wi-Fi chip as the Chromecast 2nd generation, though no specific hardware listing has been released. It includes dual microphones, and for privacy concerns, has a mute button for the microphone to silence all communications to it.
The cover over the base is modular, and is available in various colors with the purpose of blending it around home decor. The current colors available are mango, marine, and violet (fabric-covered), carbon, snow, and copper (metal).