Technology has come to help us, and each time more is mixed with our daily life. Not only is it enough that our phones, computers, televisions, washing machines, air conditioners, lenses or shoes are smart; Our house also has to be. Some companies have begun investing large amounts of money into new devices called “home helpers”, which will control our home through voice commands. And of these, Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are definitely the most popular. What are their fundamental differences?
First, the design is very different between these 2 devices. While Amazon Echo has a slender, slender design reminiscent of a speaker or vertical fan, Google Home has a much more refined and minimalist design with round and diagonal finishes. In addition, while Echo can only be purchased in 2 colors (black and white), Google was concerned to give us the freedom of personalization with 6 different color covers.
Amazon Echo has 2 physical buttons: one for “action” to stop an alarm or to have the device listen to us manually and the “Mute” button to prevent the device from listening to us. When Echo is listening or processing a command, a series of LED lights are turned on to let us know. In addition, the user can control the wizard volume by rotating the top of the device. Finally, Echo has a set of 7 microphones along with a 2 “tweeter and a 2.5” woofer.
On the other hand, Google Home has only one physical button, “Mute”. The top of the device is touch, with which we can interact to pause or play songs, make the device listen to us manually, and more. Google Home includes 4 colored LED lights that light when listening or processing a command. Finally, Google has not mentioned much about the components of your home wizard, beyond that includes 2 microphones and a “high excursion” speaker. Another interesting point is that, thinking about a home with several Google Home, the mutual integration will allow to reproduce the same in all of them at the same time. In addition, the company stated that only the nearest device will respond.
No matter how they look or feel good, the really interesting thing about the home assistants is the software; What they can do for you.
Amazon Echo “wakes up” by saying the command “Alexa” and can perform simple tasks like a voice assistant for your cell phone: set alarms, point reminders, tell the weather, put songs, etc. Through the dedicated application for smartphone, the user can further control the device, as well as manage, activate and deactivate different “Skills” – commands that Echo can do. So far, Amazon can understand and run more than 3,000 Skills, but a developer kit is available so anyone can make their product work with this voice assistant. In addition, in recent months, Amazon has been devoted to invest seriously to integrate your device with many devices Internet of things: thermostats, lights, safe doors, fans and more.
On the other hand, Google Home works thanks to Google Assistant, which is nothing more than the evolution of Google Now. To wake up this device simply say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”. Just like on your cell phone, Google Home can perform simple tasks like setting alarms, telling the weather or searching. However, what’s really interesting is that, thanks to years and years of gathering information from you or from Internet searches, Google seems to have created a very personal voice assistant. According to demos shown, Google Home can greet you in the morning and tell you the weather, temperature, your agenda for the day, traffic conditions and much more.
Importantly, as he was a few months ago, Google Assistant seeks a more “human” relationship with the user, being able to respond more naturally to requests and commands. The Google Home developer kit allows different companies to create “Actions” (what the device can do) and deciding them in 2 categories: Direct and Conversational. The first ones are used to perform tasks that only require a command line: “Turn on the lights”, “Set the temperature to 25 ° C”, “Tell me the weather”. On the other hand, Conversational Actions are those that require more interaction, such as asking for an Uber or a pizza.
This is the last function and for my taste the most decisive. Amazon Echo allows developers to get the most out of Alexa’s world and their voice commands like Roger and Ubi. An example without a doubt is the online tool Echosim.io so that they can test the capacity of Alexa without handling the own hardware. With this, everyone can manage Alexa from their browser without necessarily owning the Echo.
Sadly, you cannot say the same thing about Google Home, because to date the best way to use Google Home is from your Android device compatible with Assistant and this becomes worse when we realize that the Assistant itself is only in English. That is to say, not only will it be a tough sell in other countries, but you will need a fully updated device with Assistant which, outside of the Pixels, being expensive already by themselves, Possible though difficult.
Price and availability
Amazon Echo can be purchased from Amazon’s online store as well as large retailers like Best Buy for $ 179 dollars.
On the other hand, Google Home costs $ 129 dollars, and can now be ordered on its official site. The device began to be distributed to since November of last year
There is no doubt that there will be strong competition between Amazon and Google to win the smart home market. Because of years of experience gathering information, and with all the Google search data on the Internet, it seems like Home has to win, as it seems to be a much more complete wizard and can learn more from you. However, what is really important is integration with third parties.
The more companies develop Actions or Skills for these platforms, the smarter and more competent they become the home assistants. The big winner will be who offers a product that can do more things, and that depends on third-party developers, not Amazon or Google.
No doubt Google Home and attendees in general have much to mature to the point where they really make a difference. Undoubtedly, we hope that these errors are solved and we can enjoy our home under the mantle of Google, Amazon or whoever wants our life much simpler.