Google home is a voice-activated bluetooth speaker and smart home control centre. It responds to a voice request of “OK Google ” and you can ask it to play music, turn off the lights, even order you an Uber with one verbal command.
Apartment dwellers in particular love a space and time saving device. Google home should do good business clearing your floor and shelf space of speakers and hi-fi. Except for your TV soundbar and sub woofer. Some gadgets are non negotiable.
For some it may replace more than gadgets, it could replace people. “Hey Google, can you find a job for Cam, he’s 27 and got a degree in arts, nearly finished a masters in art history and has work experience in a video store.” Once Google has filled you in on the opportunities, that slacker son will either be on the way to gainful employment or relocating to a Facebook friend’s couch.
Let’s take this one step at a time. You’ve seen the commercial on TV or the net. Google can turn on the lights… smart lights. It can play your tune of the moment just by asking it, saving you vital seconds scrolling through your music app. It can dim the lights for that surprise party you’ll throw once in your life. If you connect Chromecast to your TV, it’ll stream your favourite show.
The reviews we’ve read confirm Google Home is very user friendly, can hear and distinguish your voice even when you are several metres away and has no problem understanding Australian English. It’s like totes awesome. It has a variety of colours available under its white top, and delivers great sound from its speakers, while as one reviewer pointed out, looking like an overgrown air freshener.
It takes Google’s reputation as a fact checker to an alarming new level for those of us who still have conversations based on trying to remember names, movies, years of football victories or other trivia. Ask it a question and it answers. Depending on the uptake in the older demographic, it could ruin quizzes for the home viewer. The Chase and Millionaire Hot Seat questions can be answered before Andrew O’Keefe or Eddie Everywhere have time to build any tension at all.
We make no judgement here, but like the movie Her, it has the ability to continue a conversation in a human way, something iPhone users have not been able to do with their beloved Siri. One reviewer thought it a shame that Google does not anthropomorphise and give Home a human name. We’re not so sure. It’s a gizmo, not a person, let’s hang on to the difference for another few years at least.
Let’s hope you have more luck with this than the Scotsmen in the voice-activated elevator (below);