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Google Announces Google Home At Annual Developer Conference

Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management for Google Inc., holds a Google Home device while speaking during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Google unveiled a new video calling application named Duo that will compete with Apple Inc.'s FaceTime. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

This small device could change our homes forever

By Nicole-Marie Ng

Cover Image: Bloomberg via Gettyimages

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It might look like a tiny lamp, but this small device is set to revolutionise our homes.

During Google’s annual I/O developer conference, the tech giant announced Google Home, a voice-activated home device that is able to play music and be your own personal home assistant.

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The device is Google’s answer to Amazon Echo, another voice controlled music player that is able to fill the home with 360º omni-directional audio. Thus far, Amazon Echo holds the market share for these devices, having sold around three million units since it was launched two years ago.

However, where Google Home stands out is its ability to link to all the capabilities of Google search. It works in a similar way to Apple’s Siri, where it is able to recognise voice commands and turn them into web search queries. This innovation is also timely arrival as about 20 percent of mobile searches are voice queries at present.

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Google Home will not only be able to provide answers to search queries, it will also be able to help perform tasks like online shopping, making day to day tasks more convenient.

Google announced that it will also be launching new apps to tie in with Google Home. One such app is Allo, a messaging app that is able to operate Google searches within chats. For example, when you send a friend a picture of a dog, Allo will be able to detect what the picture is and suggest a reply of “cute!” that you can send back to a friend.

Other apps include Duo, a video chat app similar to Apple’s “FaceTime” but Duo will be available on both Android and iOS.

Google Home and its complementary apps will be available to consumers by the third quarter of 2016.