Google reckons the Home’s inbuilt high-excursion speaker is capable of delivering high-fidelity audio over WiFi.
Back at Google IO, the global search giant confirmed that its smart speaker, Google Home, would be coming to Australian homes in the middle of the year, though the exact date was shrouded in mystery.
Google Home is a voice-activated “smart speaker” running Google Assistant software, which is going toe-to-toe with Apple’s Siri in the personal assistant space.
If you need the latest news and can’t wait for the hourly update, just ask and you shall receive the latest stories from sources such as Fox Sports, ABC NEWS, The Australian, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and SKY NEWS. Ask it to do unit conversions (and even give you nutritional info or substitutes if you’re all out of parsley) without having to wash your cake-covered hands.
Coming to Australia means official support for the Australian accent.
“Ask it for brekkie ideas or where the nearest servo is”.
The device can connect to up to six Google accounts, so if you ask it what you’ve got on that day it can tell your voice apart from other people in your family (or your flatmates) and give you personalised answers. You can also ask it what sound a Kookaburra makes, and it’ll cue the laughter we all know and love. It can also wake you up in the morning (or you can tell it to snooze).
At launch, the Australian version of Google Home will support Stan, Netflix and YouTube on Chromecast-enabled televisions, meaning householders will be able to turn on their TVs and have them start playing movies and shows, all with their voice.
To get the Home’s attention, you simply say “Okay Google” and issue your command.
If you’re already a Spotify customer, don’t worry, that’s supported as well as is TuneIn.
Of more importance to Australians is that, with Google Home now officially supported here, the search giant finally plans to add localised services such as the ability to order home food deliveries. Soon, Google Home will be open to third party apps for the Assistant, giving you access to even more of your favourite services and content.
Alongside the launch of the Google smart speaker will be the Australian launch of Google Wifi, the company’s mesh Wi-Fi network product, which is created to cover your entire home with super-fast, reliable Wi-Fi, capable of handling the demands of 4K video streams in a simple, minimal design.
Wemo’s maker, Linksys, is hoping the same thing: that the appearance of voice-based controllers such as Google Home will help revitalise the smart home business in Australia, which has seen some retailers backing away from selling the systems due to slow uptake and due to the fact that the smart-home business model, which is often subscription based, doesn’t always suit retailers.
Amazon Echo and Google Home are the two most popular smart home devices with Nest owners, while Nest won’t talk to Apple’s smart speaker.
Google Wifi will retail for $199 for a single-pack and $499 for a three-pack.