David Streitfeld, reporting for the NYT from San Francisco, on the eve of Google I/O:
Google will introduce its much-anticipated entry into the
voice-activated home device market on Wednesday, according to
people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Named Google Home, the device is a virtual agent that answers
simple questions and carries out basic tasks. It is to be
announced at Google’s annual developers’ conference in
Google Home will come to market in the fall — a long time away,
given the speed of technology, but Google needed to plant a stake
in the ground now. The device will compete with Amazon’s Echo,
which was introduced less than two years ago.
Google has the speech recognition and back-end performance down. But is this going to be a Google-branded device, or a platform for OEMs like Android? The Times’s report makes it sound like a Google-branded device — none of which have done well. Update: I forgot about Chromecast, which is doing well. And Google Home might be the same sort of “just plug it in” low-cost device.