When Amazon announced their Echo device, I was apprehensive about whether or not I would have a use for it in my home. Would I really have a need for a voice-activated speaker? I don’t own any connected home devices, and I don’t listen to much music at home, but the question feature was intriguing. But, with the $180 price tag, Amazon decided for me—too rich for my blood. The Echo was a pretty neat concept though, and I definitely kept it in the back of my mind for a future purchase.
On Wednesday, Google announced its newest product: Google Home. Home will compete with Amazon’s Echo device for an Internet-connected speaker in the home. The voice-activated device is going to work much like the Echo; you’ll be able to ask it questions, turn on your lights, and check your flight times so you won’t be late. But will it stand out from Amazon’s device?
Does Home Have an Advantage?
It seems like both devices are going to do pretty much the same thing as one another. But I do think that Google has two pretty cool advantages: solid interaction with other Google Home devices, and, of course, Google search.
While two Echos can co-exist in the same home, they don’t really play well together. Google designed Home with multiple speakers in mind, so you should be able to have more than one without worrying about them interfering with one another. Plus, Home will still be able to pick up your voice across the room, much like Echo.
More importantly, in my opinion, is the power of Google search behind Home. It’s no question that when it comes to search engines, Google reins supreme. If I am going to ask questions, I want the power of Google behind it. Plus, I’ll be able to have my Google account attached to it, so I’m going to assume that means my searches will be saved to my history for later use.
What About Aesthetics?
Home is going to be compact, much like the Echo, but the really cool thing will be the color choices. Echo only comes in black, which is fine for me, but Home will give others the option to choose a base that matches their home décor more. The Home itself looks pretty cool, but kind of reminds me of air fresheners that my mom had in our house as a kid. I’m definitely partial to the design of Echo, but Home will likely appeal to many.
More Importantly, What’s the Price?
We actually don’t know the price of Home just yet. Hopefully, Google will give us a price before it drops. If it’s cheaper than Echo, I think Home will have a solid edge. Otherwise, Echo may win out with its head start, and its compatibility with more third-parties. Not that Home isn’t going to have third party support—far from it—but Google is still looking for more developers to come aboard and start working with them on it.
I think that Home will have a fighting chance against Echo since its backed by the power of Google. It will be more aesthetically appealing to many, work well with other Home devices, and use Google’s assistant. Overall, it will cement itself in the marketplace if they can pull out a lower or, at least, equivalent pricing structure. I can’t wait to see who wins out.
What do think about Home? Are you going to buy one? Let us know in the comments!