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Google is planning to annouce Google Home, its answer to Amazon's Echo

By Wong Chung Wee - on 18 May 2016, 5:45pm

Google is planning to annouce Google Home, its answer to Amazon's Echo

(Image source: Google)

According to the New York Times, Google plans to launch Google Home, a voice-activated home device that will function like a personal concierge, answering questions and obeying your commands. This yet, unpictured device will be announced during Google I/O and this annual developers’ event will take place at 1am Singapore Time on 19 May 2016 in Silicon Valley.

“Amazon, Facebook, Apple and others are all heading towards the virtual agent,” said Julie A. Ask, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Google has seemingly let the competition catch up — level the playing field, even. It’s all the more critical that they do well here, given earlier misses on instant messaging and social media.”

NYT remarked that the impending announcement of Google Home seems a little premature as the intended launch of Google’s new digital butler will only happen in fall of this year. But it posited Google’s move as an attempt to position Google Home as a credible competitor to Amazon Echo. Also, the lead time will give developers enough runway to build and integrate their information systems with the device before Google Home hits the mass market. Virtual assistants might appear to be obtrusive and the NYT report pointed out the quality and reliability of their responses. There’s also the perennial question of privacy and disclosure. According to the quoted Forrester Researcher analyst, given the earlier stumbling of Google in its social media efforts, alluding to Google Buzz, and to a lesser extent, Google+; therefore, Google Home’s success is “...all the more critical….”

(Source: The New York Times)