Google I/O Introduces List of New Consumer-Aimed Services
Google HomeSet another place at the dinner table for Google Home. You never need a phone to use this. Looking like a decorative vase sitting somewhere central in a residence, the device can hear commands from yards away and give answers to questions through Google Search quickly, nearly on the order of IBM Watson, according to Google. Home uses Assistant to perform all sorts of tasks or look up all kinds of information for anybody who asks. Home interacts with home entertainment systems through Chromecast ("Hi Google, play Coldplay on Spotify") and heating/lighting/security systems such as Nest to add voice control to all of them. Users can pipe music and entertainment throughout the house or in individual rooms using Google Cast and manage everyday tasks such as adding or deleting appointments on Google Calendar or booking a flight. Google said that Home is unique in the accuracy of its far-field voice recognition, using a decade of innovation in natural language processing. Home is slated to become available later this year. "Google Home could be a major force and could also dramatically decrease the sales potential of Amazon Echo," industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights told eWEEK. "The biggest sales determinant could be the quality of the AI experience, and in the end, Google will likely win over Amazon.
"Google Home also enables connections to TVs and other non-intelligent speakers with a dongle, and Echo cannot. Amazon could decrease price as a response, too."
"Their biggest play is AI, so that 'smart' replies are smarter and more natural all the way from text to photos to setting up dinner reservations. The demo reminded me a lot of Microsoft's bot platform. Allo is Google's recent messaging attempt, the latest being Hangouts, that has had minimal success. Google is billions of users behind WeChat, WhatsApp and Messenger, and has a lot of work to get consumers to use it." Allo is slated to become available on Android and iOS in summer 2016. Duo Video Calling App Duo is a simple, fast one-to-one video calling app for everyone—whether Android or iOS, a fast or slow connection, wherever users are. Like Allo, Duo is based on phone numbers, allowing users to reach anyone in their phone books. Its interface fades away when users are on a call. A unique feature on Duo is Knock Knock, which allows a user to see a live video preview of the caller before he/she picks up. Thus, the person being called can see the caller and decide whether to answer the call or not. Once the call is answered, Duo transitions the user right into the call. Duo calls are in HD video (up to 720p) and audio. Google said it has optimized Duo to work well, even on spotty networks. Duo is expected to become available on Android and iOS in fall 2016.