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Ryan McQueeney

Google's New "Home" Internet of Things Device Challenges Amazon Echo


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The home automation wars are finally underway. The consumer-level Internet of Things market finally has another in-home product after Google (GOOGL - Analyst Report) officially launched its new “Home” device at the company’s hardware-announcing event on Tuesday.

The Home runs on Google’s new voice assistant, which will also be built into its Pixel phones, the first ever Google smartphone. Paired with this new technology, the device will allow you to play music, get answers from Google, and control other devices.

The Home will retail for $129, and those features at that price means that Google has positioned itself to compete directly with Amazon (AMZN - Analyst Report) and its Echo smart speaker. The Amazon Echo, which has sold more than 3 million units, will already be two years old once the Google Home debuts on November 4.

Despite Amazon’s massive head-start, many experts believe Google’s own expertise will help the company catch up quickly. Amazon is not a search engine and does not have the hardware companionship that Google Home will have with the Pixel phone.

As of its launch, Google Home will be able to control Nest Thermostat, Samsung SmartThings, Philips, and IFTTT devices, and it will be able to stream music from Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora (P - Snapshot Report) , Tunein, and iHeart Radio.

Soon enough, Netflix (NFLX - Analyst Report) will allow for voice control capability, and Google Home users will be able to say “Ok, Google. Watch Stranger Things on my TV” and the device will launch the streaming service and start the show.

Google Home will also pair with Google Assistant and any schedule information on your Google account with a feature called “My Day.” Before you walk out the door in the morning, Google Home will tell you about the weather, local traffic, and any events you have coming up.

You can check out Google’s new commercial for the device below:

Consumers now have another affordable IoT device to choose from. This is another example of the growing connectedness of the home and our daily lives, and it proves that the IoT industry is continuing to grow at a consumer level.

Want more coverage on the Internet of Things? Check out our guide: “How to Invest in the Internet of Things,” as well as our relevant episode of the Zacks Friday Finish Line podcast:

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