Get ready to say "Okay Google" around the house a lot more because it sounds as if the Mountain View-based company is more than "Okay" with the idea of creating an Amazon Echo clone.
Google's top secret plans for a voice-controlled AI-controlled speaker system were outed in an expose about Nest by The Information (opens in new tab). The product has not been reported on publicly until now.
The information about a possible device was buried in a piece about the troubles of Alphabet subsidiary, Nest, which is surprising considering the home automation company isn't the one tackling the Amazon Echo rival.
Nest has developed hits like the Nest Smart Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector, and most recently acquired Dropcam and rebranded its flagship device as the Nest Cam. But its lineup stops there.
The report doesn't specify which team is on the case, but there's a good chance that that it would fall to the Chromecast team. After all, the technology behind Chromecast Audio doesn't stray too far
Do you hear what I hear?
Amazon Echo has been a phenomenal success story for the top online retailer. It's scored with critics and topped its sales charts since it became widely available in June 2015.
Currently, Amazon's voice-commanded speaker ranks third on Amazon's bestseller list, right behind the much less expensive Kindle Fire 7-inch and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
It's no surprise that Google wants to take on the Amazon Echo, and it actually came close to doing just that with last year's microphone-less OnHub wireless router.
Google has the design and functionality in place. If it really has plans to take on Amazon's Alexa and its streaming music player, all it needs is a bunch of far-field voice recognizing microphones for picking up commands and Google Now dropped into the cylinder via Android.
- Could we see it at Google IO 2016?