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Google Home confirmed for UK launch in Q2 2017

The Google Home connected speaker will launch in the UK sometime in the second quarter of 2017, according to the company's hardware leader.
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Published onFebruary 28, 2017

The Google Home connected speaker is going to make its way across the pond in the near future. Rick Osterloh, the head of Google’s hardware division, has confirmed the company will begin selling the speaker in the UK sometime in the second quarter of 2017.

Osterloh confirmed the company’s UK launch plans for Google Home in a chat with the BBC during the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. He added that Google had a “huge lead in artificial intelligence”. He said that gives Google Home an advantage in being able to better interpret the questions that will be asked by its owner, compared to rival products like the Amazon Echo, which is already on sale in the UK. Osterloh did not reveal a price point for Google Home for its launch, nor did he give a specific release date.

Google Home launched in November 2016 in the US for the price of $129. Since then, the company has been aggressive in trying to promote the speaker to US audiences, including paying $5 million for a 30 second spot in a Super Bowl TV commercial. It will be interesting to see how Google Home, and its Google Assistant voice-command service, handles the accents and the different ways that UK residents use the English language compared to the citizens of the US.

The news of Google’s UK launch comes after some new rumors about the Amazon Echo and its Alexa digital assistant have come to light. Time reports, via unnamed sources, that Amazon is trying to get Alexa to distinguish between individual voices. This would allow, for example, a parent to shop for items using their voice, and keep their children from doing the same. The story claims Amazon has been working on this feature since the summer of 2015, but it’s still not known when, or even if, it will be added to Alexa and the company’s Echo speakers.

What do you think of Google Home expanding its reach to the UK? Let us know what you think in the comments.