Pre-Order Home, Google's Amazon Echo Rival, for $129

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Google today provided more details on Home, its Amazon Echo competitor. The sleek white tower, whose design is inspired by wine glasses and candles, offers access to music, home automation, Google's Assistant, and more.

Saying "OK, Google," is all it takes to activate the Google Assistant. It's powered by Google's Knowledge Graph, which Google CEO Sundar Pichai described as a collection of more than 70 million facts. Ask it to give you everything from sports scores to driving directions to translation assistance.

It can also control connected home devices that use Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and IFTTT protocols; more home partners will be added over time.

Like Siri, Google Home also works with Chromecast and Android TV devices. The integration allows you to select TV shows and movies to stream, as well as show your own videos and photos on the big screen.

Underneath the hood, Google packed in an omnidirectional microphone that uses machine learning to filter out noise and listen to your voice. You can temporarily stop it from listening by pressing the device's single physical button.

Google Home costs $129 and includes a free six-month YouTube Red subscription. You can pre-order today, but it doesn't arrive until Nov. 4. Fabric bases come in several colors, like carbon gray, snow white, and violet.

Google today also unveiled its new Google Wifi router. It's an update to the OnHub routers, though at $129, it's slightly less expensive. Buy a three-pack for $299 and place them throughout your home with minimal setup, Google says.

The device taps into Network Assist, "which works behind the scenes to keep your Wi-Fi fast so you don't have to figure out how to adjust your router," Google says. "Network Assist automatically places you on the clearest channel and optimal Wi-Fi band for your device."

Google first teased Home at I/O earlier this year, calling it a "beautiful product" powered by more than 10 years of Google's research into voice automation. The battle to convince mainstream consumers that they need connected home devices has exploded over the past year or so, thanks to Amazon and Apple, Google's chief competitors in the space. Amazon's Alexa and Apple's HomeKit are signs that home automation is no longer relegated to enthusiasts who understand protocols like ZigBee or ZWave.

Even though Google Home is a relative latecomer compared to HomeKit and Alexa, it has the enormous advantage of access to many people's private digital lives (via Gmail, Docs, and the like) and their public ones (via its search engine).

Also today, Google revealed its new Pixel smartphones and a 4K Chromecast.

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