Google has introduced Google Home its smart speakers that are voice controlled, apart from being connected via wi-fi. Google’s smart home speakers also behave as a digital assistant and can control a smart home with the smart home controlling system. These speakers with search and voice control could be targeted at those who are already using Google’s ecosystem. The speaker’s Google integration and musical abilities sets it apart from other home entertainment systems like smart home speakers.
What it looks like
The top portion of Google Home is sensitive to touch, with two holes for microphones. Tapping pauses or cancels the music or current action and sliding fingers in a circular pattern helps to adjust volume. Google’s smart home speakers works well with touch, but you can give commands through voice as well.
The bottom half of Google Home has three speakers, one speaker in front and one each on either side. The music quality is good enough for a small speaker. You can change the bottom fabric from the variety of colors (mango, violet and marine), and materials available, including grey and white. There’s a metallic base you can choose from too made from polycarbonate or painted steel and the colors available are carbon, snow or copper.
Its size is 5.62” x 3.79”, which makes it easier to blend in with the surroundings. You can “wake” up Google Home by tapping it or saying “Hey Google” and “OK Google”, the indicator lights whirl and twist to show that it’s woken up.
The tech within
Google Home is one of those smart home products which has smart AI built into it. This is the same AI that runs Google Assistant which is the same technology that runs your Android smartphones, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel. In Google Home, the Assistant has more powers. It is more verbal and can respond with a better personality than it does on the smartphone, compensating for the lack of a screen. Google Home can answer the top results for your questions through its speakers. Home entertainment systems like smart home speakers play the dual role of being efficient speakers as well as controlling the smart compatible appliances in your home. It requires a stable net connection to work, but its quick responses would fool you into thinking that it’s being powered by a server.
Google Home has got good reviews as a speaker, though not exceptional. It accesses music from all kinds of streaming services, such as YouTube Music, Google Play, Pandora and Spotify. Its Google Cast capabilities sets it apart from other smart speakers, as it can access music from your phone and video streams to any compatible Google Cast devices.
Other cool functions
Google Home has access to all of your personal info if you use Google, and can dig out your Google Calendar info and other info. It can let you know whether it will be a sunny or rainy day, or what your commute is going to be like. It can behave as your personal news service giving you the latest pre-recorded news from Sky, BBC or others. It also has the usual timers and alarms, which is handy while cooking or just getting up in the morning.
Smart home functions
Google Assistant which is in-built in Google Home controls many smart home products. This includes Philips Hue, Smart thermostat from Nest, Samsung’s SmartThings Hub. You just have to say the name of the devices to turn them off or on. You can configure devices in a group and control all of them with one command, but sometimes Google Home can surprise you by understanding what you meant, by following even vague commands. When you set up the device properly Google Assistant works intelligently. It even gives you feedback on its functions and if there is anything wrong with any product. For example, it will let you know if any device in a group isn’t responding.
Google Home seems set to establishing itself as smart home speakers which you can use to play music as well as control all your connected smart home products. It has many plus points, and looks set to become better with more developments on the way.