Google showcases Google Home, its competitor to the Amazon Echo

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After unveiling the device at Google I/O earlier in the year, Google finally released more details about Google Home – its “smart speaker” for the home – at this morning’s press conference. However, if you’re looking at getting this device in Australia, Google currently has no plans to bring the device to you.

Google Home will come packaged with Google Assistant, allowing you to ask questions and perform tasks just by starting with “OK Google”. You can make it personalised by setting timers and alarms, and letting it (with your permission, Google stresses) it know your calendar or traffic commute.

You can also customise the device by changing the base. There will be three fabric options (Mango, Marine and Violet) and three metal options (Carbon, Snow and Copper) at launch.

Being a “smart speaker” stream music from a variety of services – namely YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, TuneIn and (coming soon) iHeartRadio. Thanks to Google Assistant, it will also be able to fill in the blanks of vague questions (an example displayed was “play that Shakira song from Zootopia”) and playlists that match your query.

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Google Home also can be used to control your smart devices and Chromecast. Currently, it only supports Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Phillips Hue, and IFTTT. However, expect more vendors to be supported.

You will be able to place multiple Google Home devices in your home, and put them into groups so you can stream music across multiple devices. If you’re in the proximity of two or more Google Home devices and ask a question, the device that best hears the command will be the one to respond.

Google Home will be available from November for US$129, and come with a six month trial of YouTube Red.

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