Amazon Echo pictured above.

The most curious thing about the Amazon Echo is that it wasn’t intended to be the breakaway success that it was. The project was developed almost experimentally to see what could be done with the technology, and although Amazon certainly hoped to find a niche audience, the massive success of the Echo was something that nobody really saw coming. Not used to being a latecomer to the innovation game, Google is actively developing a voice recognition device to go toe to toe with the A-to-Z retailer’s personal home assistant.

Amazon Echo owners can now listen to Spotify

The project looks like it may be tangentially related to Google’s ongoing Nest development. Those paying close attention may recall that Google acquired the smarthome tech company Nest a while back, but as of yet they haven’t really done much with the property. Word on the street is that a suite of smarthome products is currently under development under the codename Flintstone, which seems to call to mind the living, sentient quality of the accessories that festooned the abode of everyone’s favorite Bedrock residents in the classic animated show. The products down the pipe seem to include an advanced security system, an improved central hub, and Bluetooth tags that would allow the home to keep track of the location of inhabitants so as to better accommodate their needs.

The Echo competitor is being kept under tight wraps, so we don’t even have an internal name yet. Although we can expect the device to integrate with Nest tech, the project is so beneath the radar that when Nest offered to be a part of the project, Google politely turned them down, indicating that they would prefer to keep the development of the device totally internal. It’s possible that this device might not even see the light of day, but stay tuned to Android Authority and we’ll keep you up to date on everything we know as it arrives.

Amazon unveils the Echo Dot and Tap, two new Alexa-enabled devices