Google Home arrives on UK shores

Google has launched Google Home in the UK. Using Google's ecosystem, the device is designed to respond to a user's voice.

Google Home can answer questions and also provide news updates from the likes of BBC, The Guardian and Sky News, as well as stream music. 

Google Home can also connect to existing smart devices in the home, including Nest, Phillips and Chromecast, meaning users can control lights and switches using their voice.

Suveer Kothari, director, product partnerships & planning, Google Home, said in a blog post: "With your permission, Google Home can assist you in planning your day, based on information like your calendar entries or flight information from your Google account. But if you'd rather keep things to yourself, you can turn off personal results any time in the Google Home app with a single swipe."

Rival to Amazon's Echo, which launched in the UK last year, Google Home is priced £21 cheaper at £129. And unlike Amazon Echo, Google Home is customisable with different coloured fascias available at an additional cost.

Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation, at Salmon, said retailers need to think about how they are going to sell their products through screen-less and voice activated devices.

"This will not only impact a retailer’s business model but also the talent that they need to employ, as visual design skills will no longer suffice," he explained. "We could very well see the need for a ‘super designer’ too, whereby they will need to encompass biology, psychology and engineering to create the new experience."

He added: "Google Home and other digital assistants such as Amazon Echo bring up the battle for ownership of the customer in the next big interface – the home. Getting into the home early and being the hub for connectivity as well as a key interface, will provide the company with the “first mover” advantage. By creating the epicentre of the home ecosystem, Google with Home and Amazon with Echo have made an exceptional strategic long term play which allows them to develop the relationship with the customer."

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