Google's smart home assistant could take on Amazon's Echo

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Amazon’s Echo is in a league of its own — There’s really nothing quite like it right now. However, Google is reportedly building its own device to rival Amazon’s and compete in the smart home assistant space.

The Information’s report doesn’t offer much on the project itself, the smart home device is discussed as part of a report on a stalled and fading Nest. Google acquired the smart home company back in 2014. However, the Echo-like device may not be coming from Nest. The report claims that the company requested to be a part of the project, but Google said no.

Nest has been the source of a lot of frustration for Google of late, according to the report. Its product portfolio has been pretty slow to grow, and sources claim that’s largely because of Tony Fadell’s leadership. Apparently, Fadell is constantly pushing to rework Nest’s features. For example, the company has supposedly been pushing back plans to release a smart home hub, codenamed Flintstone.

Meanwhile, the Amazon Echo has been a huge success. In our review, we said it’s good at performing tasks like buying things on Amazon or telling you the weather, but it sometimes stumbles with sound quality and searches. If Google were to release its own Echo-like device, it stands to reason that it would be excellent at search, since that’s where Google started. Not only that, but a Google home assistant would appeal to those who are loyal to Google or want a device that integrates with Google Now on their phones and Android Wear devices.

While Google has traditionally shied away from hardware, it has been increasingly involved in creating products over the past few years. Its last major release was the OnHub Wi-Fi router. It will be interesting to see how or if the home assistant integrates with OnHub and Google’s other products, assuming it comes to market.

We’ll keep you updated on news about Google’s smart home assistant plans as we learn more.

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