The surprise success of Amazon’s Echo personal voice assistant hasn’t gone unnoticed by the competition. Search giant Google is said to be working in secret on a similar device according to a recent report from The Information (via The Verge).
Mention of an Amazon Echo competitor came as part of a larger story on the struggles of Nest, makers of the connected thermostat and smoke detector that Google acquired in early 2014 for $3.2 billion in cash to help bolster its position in the home automation market.
According to the publication, Nest wanted to work on the Echo-like project but the offer was dismissed by the Google team currently at the helm. On top of that, Nest has struggled to grow its product portfolio since the acquisition which, according to the report, is largely due to Tony Fadell’s oversight.
Unfortunately, there weren’t many details shared regarding the Echo competitor from Google. Nevertheless, it’s easy to see how such a device makes perfect sense for Google. Heck, they already have the technology to drive the device with Google Now and the best search engine on the planet.
Come to think of it, it’s a bit surprising that Google didn’t bake Echo-like features into its OnHub router released last summer. OnHub is designed to simplify home life and it already has the same shape as Echo (not that a specific shape is a requirement). Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google add the functionality into future revisions of OnHub but I digress.