Giving complete and total control of your home to a stranger is a prospect that some people wouldn’t be too keen about, but when that stranger is an AI powered speaker of sorts, we suppose most people won’t be as reluctant about the prospect. At Google’s press conference in San Francisco, the company announced its product in Google Home, which directly squares off against Amazon’s Echo. Driven by its AI “Assistant” companion, the Google Home is there to grow, learn, and adapt.
One of the first things to jump at us about the Google Home is its overall size. While its design has an inviting, warm tone to it, especially when the bases can be swapped for different color, its diminutive size is especially noteworthy because pictures and renders of it don’t do justice in justifying its size. It’s so small and compact enough that you can rest it on the palm of your hand. Another item worth mentioning is the touch sensitive control panel on the top of the unit, which have embedded LEDs that don’t come off as distracting when they’re turned on – not only do they glow when you glide your finger to adjust the volume, but they’ll come alive as well when you initiate a voice action.
Speaking of voice actions, this is the core function of Google Home, allowing users to initiate an assortment of actions. From playing a song, finding out the weather for tomorrow, and even adjusting the lighting of a room, Google Home manages to perfectly recognize voice actions with its dual far-field microphones. Initiating an action is done of course by speaking the phrase “okay Google,” where you then proceed to ask it what to do. In our demo, we were surprised by how the microphones were able to recognize the voice actions in a noisy environment.
The other integral part about Google Home is its integrated hi-fi excursion speaker system, you see them when you remove the base. Taking into consideration its size, we’re yet again impressed by its power and clarity. Not only does it remain crystal clear and rich with bass, but its over potency is never compromised in the noisy conditions we were demoing it in. And when you have multiple Google Home units connected, they play music in synchronization.
Now, they’re able to achieve that because they’re network connected – so there’s no Bluetooth connection here whatsoever. The reason for this is simple, they always need to be connected in order to provide instant recognition and actions. And on top of that, audio synchronization is best achieved via Wi-Fi connectivity. While some will grumble about the lack of Bluetooth connection, it should be pointed out that Google Home is meant to be stationary, seeing that it’s tethered by a plug to its power source.