It should come as little surprise that Google—which is slowly looking to play more in the Internet of Things space—is now looking to build its own competitor to Amazon's Echo.
When the company released its OnHub router, which supports Google's own Thread and Weave protocols, in addition to Bluetooth 4.1, I half-expected the cylindrical device to come with support for voice commands. No luck there, but that doesn't mean Google is content to let Amazon lead the pack as far as virtual home assistants go. According to The Information, Google is working on a competing device.
We don't know any details. Knowing Google, though, you can bet that it will likely be based on Google Now; here's hoping the company gives it a more personalized touch (or even a name) like Amazon's Alexa or even Apple's Siri.
The project will reportedly be Google's own to shepard—Nest Labs, itself a fellow subsidiary of parent company Alphabet—will not be contributing, which would be a logical assumption to make given that the company was at one point rumored to be working on its own Echo competitor. Nest backed down because it allegedly couldn't find a way to align users' privacy concerns with such a device, and it instead opted to integrate its thermostats with Alexa.
We don't yet know any kind of timeline for when Google might launch—or even announce—its rumored assistant device. It's possible that the company could give up some details at its Google I/O conference in May. And we might even find out more about how such a device would work in conjunction with other Google products like Chromecast and the OnHub router, as well as Nest's lineup of devices.
Of course, Google's device would give the company one major advantage over Amazon's Echo: at least you'd be able to run Google searches on it.