Don’t get too comfortable saying “Alexa” — Google may be trying to get you to say “OK Google” at home.
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That’s right, the same phrase Android enthusiasts use to command their smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch may be coming to a standalone device for the home, Re/code and the New York Times have learned. The device will reportedly be called Google Home and is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo. It combines Google’s popular search engine with its voice assistant technology, which debuted in Google Now.
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The device, codenamed “Chirp,” has a design that’s said to resemble Google’s OnHub wireless router. It’s slated to launch in the fall, and Google will unveil the product on May 18 at Google I/O, the company’s developer conference.
Many in the industry saw Google’s OnHub wireless router as a stepping point to the company potentially baking in voice assistant technology, but OnHub did not have a microphone. Chirp would be a brilliant and beneficial tool for the company to gather more user data, and learn even more about you.
Google Now on Android-powered devices lets you trigger certain activities, like setting an alarm, executing web searches, launching apps, and more. Bringing that technology into the home would eliminate the need to have your phone on you all the time.
While Amazon reigns in this space, the battle for the best assistant is only beginning to ramp up. The recently demoed Viv, from the creators of Siri, also wants to find a physical device to live in, rather than solely being an app, according to Viv Labs co-founder Dag Kittlaus.
SoundHound also opened up its voice assistant platform, Houndify, to let third-party developers integrate their services into Hound. With Amazon and Viv also heavily relying on third-party integration, Google will likely have to do the same to keep up.
Google did not respond for comment.