Google Home Launches In The UK


Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Google is launching its smart assistant Google Home in the U.K. on April 6. The company also plans to launch Google Wifi, a service that enables usage of multiple connected devices, on the same date.

In a blog post making the announcement, the Mountain View, California-based company said it has "hidden a few British treats" in its launch. The smart assistant, which competes with Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) Echo series of speakers, can perform a wide array of activities around the house based on user commands. For example, users can ask the device questions about a wide variety of things, from directions to the nearest gas station to weather patterns. They can also use Google Home to plan their day or control appliances and switches around the home.
Google has joined with a couple of companies, such as Koninklijke Philips N.V. (PHG), to enable smart home capabilities using the device. Google Home undercuts Amazon's device as far as U.K. pricing is concerned. It will be available for 129 pounds for a single pack and 229 pounds for a two-pack. Amazon's Echo series starts at 149 pounds for a single pack. Google's Wifi service provides reliable Wifi through all areas of a home from a single internet connection. This will enable customers to place Google Home in multiple rooms or use multiple connected devices for high-bandwidth activities such as gaming.
Amazon launched its Echo series of connected speakers in September of last year. Alexa, as the voice assistant from the Echo speaker is called, has 10,000 skills that help customers perform tasks from ordering takeout to playing music from its extensive catalog. The Seattle-based company is estimated to have sold 8.2 million Echo devices since its launch in 2014. According to Gartner, the market for such speakers will explode in the coming years. The research firm estimates that revenues from smart assistants will reach $2.1 billion by 2020.

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