The time has come to sit back with popcorn and enjoy the ultimate battle of two tech giants- Google and Amazon. Competition is a healthy thing, especially when it's going to benefit us consumers, and make our daily routine easier.
On Wednesday, Google introduced Google Home, a voice-controlled, internet-connected speaker that is going to compete with Amazon's smart speaker, Echo. The rivalry is going to be intense because both products target the same audience and are based on similar concepts. So what do they have in common?
First of all, Echo and Google Home are both speaker systems. They are designed to improve your daily routine by completing tasks which may be more time consuming if done manually. The speakers perform tasks like web searches, adding calendar appointments or looking up movie showtimes on the Internet. They essentially perform as your personal assistant.
We already know that Amazon's product is already available to order with a pricetag of $179.99. Google aren’t at that stage yet, and we only saw a sneaky presentation at their Mountain View headquarters. Whilst we are still waiting for more details from Google, we can already see that there are differences between the two gadgets.
Appearance wise, both have a cylindrical shape but Google Home went for a more compact version than Echo. However, Amazon also launched its Echo Dot, a smaller version which has similar features to its bigger brother and is also based on voice recognition. The top of the Home unit is slanted downwards, whereas Echo's top is flat. Echo only comes in black, whilst you can choose form a selection of colors Google Home.
But the most important element is always who does it better. The brains of Home is going to be Google's virtual assistant, which works with the help of its extensive search database, whereas Echo relies on Alexa, Amazon's assistant. In this respect, Google is ahead of its rival. According to tests which were designed to compare virtual assistants from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google, the latter demonstrated the best performance, largely because it used data from Google's search engine. It seems like Home is powerful enough to leave Echo in the dust. However, what Google is lacking, is cooperation with others whereas Echo can easily order you pizza, set the right temperature at home or order an Uber through 3rd party apps.
Google Home seems to be more beneficial performance-wise, but if it wants to be successful, it needs to catch up on some of the important features that Amazon offers. If we think of it from a target audience perspective, we will see ordinary people who are interested in improving their daily routine and interested in the new technology but not obsessed with it. Most of the consumers will not notice or read tech reviews, where both products will appear similar but will be slightly different from one another. Consumers only want something that is attractive and convenient to use.
At the moment, the fact that Amazon collaborates with third-party services such as restaurants, local businesses, and taxi services, puts it ahead of its rival. Google Home's success will largely depend on whether the company can persuade other developers to collaborate and create new features.