When Amazon released its home assistant product Echo, they anticipated tapping into a small niche market. It was a surprise to everyone when the little living room companion device became a runaway success, and suddenly other companies began scrambling to build competitors to engage this new market. Primary among these was Google, who was rumored to be building an Echo competitor earlier this year and who formally unveiled Google Home at the 2016 Google I/O event. Now, according to a report by The Information, we’re learning that the Google Home is essentially the next evolutionary step for the Chromecast.
Inside the elegant white casing of Google home resides the exact same ARM-based microprocessor and wifi chip that constitute the Chromecast. As The Information puts it, “Home will essentially be a microphone, speaker, plastic top with LED lights and a fabric or metal bottom—wrapped around a Chromecast.”
This is actually a good thing. Historically, Google hasn’t been so great at making successful commercial hardware. It’s no surprise that once they found a hit in Chromecast, they would start implementing this tech in as many ways possible. For instance, we’re seeing a bevy of Google Cast TVs hit the market this year, which are basically television sets with Chromecast built right in.
This ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ methodology should work well for the search giant. Chromecast has proven to be an effective intermediary between a variety of devices and the internet, and once you can get a user’s intent to Google’s online software, well… Software and information have always been Google’s forte. Amazon and Apple, though they excel in the hardware department, simply can’t compete in this realm. This means that even though Google Home is practically just a Chromecast given ears, it has the potential to quickly dominate this playing field. After all, Amazon Echo costs $180. A Chromecast is only $35. This could indicate that Google will be able to brutally undercut the cost of the Echo. As an added benefit, Google is saying their home assistant will quickly gain multilingual functionality. Currently, Alexa only speaks English.
We don’t have a launch date for home yet, but What do you think about the revelation that Google Home leans hard on Chromecast hardware? Give us your opinions and forecasts in the comments below!