Last week Google announced a skein of new products intended to wrap your home in google’s intelligent information interfaces. They are calling their new voice interface cloud system “Assistant”. I guess we’re calling this category of product a “Smart Speaker”.

Google launched the Home alongside a WiFi Router for your home. Their router creates a mesh network if you have multiple units in your home. The convenience of not having to run ethernet cables to multiple access points sounds very compelling. We’ve seen a similar product this year form eero. I’ve been curious to try out a mesh router or a cabled multi-access point setup.

New Google Chrome 4K - Seems pretty nice. But Amazon has a new FireTV Stick too. 4K doesn’t sound compelling to me right now, especially in light of Comcast’s new Terabyte data caps rolling out next month.

That’s a very nice market niche your created there, Amazon. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. -Google

Home

  • Google play Music - smart assistant finds music for you.
    • what about aux out?
    • what about controlling the Chromecast? - Yes it does this. That’s an excellent feature, one that Alexa needs soon!
  • What about push notifications? Nothing so far. And no API either. Amazon is able to pair up their AWS cloud platform with the Alexa API to great effect. Can Google do the same?
  • My Day - is a really compelling personal assistant feature. I want to try it. The first thing we ask for in the morning is “Alexa what’s the weather today?” and sometimes “what’s on my calendar today?”
  • Controlling smarthome devices… not a lot here yet.
    • nest
    • smartthings
    • hue
    • IFTTT
  • Starting a netflix show… with your voice, yes please!
  • Show photos from google photos on your living room TV - and specify an event, person or time range, ✔ that’s good stuff Google. Killer feature.
  • Only $129 - and changeable colors.

OK, there’s a lot to like here. Competition is good. But Amazon has a pretty good head start here. We shall see if they hold on to it. It’s not like Amazon is resting on their laurels though. They announce new features and integrations with Alexa every single week. And Alexa has built up some good word of mouth marketing.