GOOGLE has released Google Home, a voice-activated virtual agent that responds to voice commands, answers questions and controls smart home devices including lights and air conditioning. 

Google Home is AC-powered and can be heard across a room, according to industry reports. The unit is designed to rival Amazon Echo but there’s more to Google Home than that. It speaks of the nature of future user interfaces.

The modular case can be customised with different base shells to match a room and LED lights indicate status. Being ADC powered, the speaker has more power making it more capable of playing music. 

Materially, Google Home is a small cylindrical speaker you plug into AC power with always-listening, far-field microphones that can hear you and you can hear across a large room. Google Home will answer questions, play music, and control some home automation gadgets.

According to reports, Google Home is going to work with a small set of home automation devices — Google has not said which beyond thermostats and lights. Will security sensors be part of the equation? It’s hard to see why not. Repeated studies show that smart home users value security functions above everything else about their automation solutions – Google knows this. 

“We're competing feature-for-feature in most of the areas,” said Mario Queiroz, Google’s VP of product management. “And in the areas that really matter to the consumer, we're going to do a better job.”  ♦