To compete with Alexa in terms of voice-activated smart home devices, the search giant has already launched its Google Home smart speaker, and now, it is looking to release its second-generation gadget. Google’s upcoming smart speaker will have a built-in Wi-Fi router with mesh networking, if The Information is to be believed.
Combo of Wi-Fi and smart speaker
The company is looking to create a version of intelligent speaker with built-in Wi-Fi networking. In simple terms, it will be a combo of Google Home and Wi-Fi. This combo box will be a standalone device that can be kept in every room. A source reportedly told The Information that the original version of the Google Wi-Fi had a microphone and a speaker, but the final version has been stripped of them.
Each speaker would be a sort of repeater for a home Wi-Fi network to extend the reach of the connection to every corner of the home. Such a system would create a good deal of crossover appeal by adding in mesh networking. Now, Wi-Fi users will want to try out Home, while Home users will want to get their hands on the Wi-Fi.
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There has not been any word on the launch date or price of the Wi-Fi speaker. If the search giant decides to keep the price at $180 like Echo, it could disrupt the market by attracting more buyers. Google Wi-Fi and Home are priced at $130 each. A three-pack bundle of Google Wi-Fi is available for $300.
Such a combo product would clearly assist the search giant Home in differentiating from its long-time rival Amazon Echo. It would also assist Google’s Wi-Fi in standing out from other Wi-Fi routers.
Google vs. Amazon’s Alexa
Both Google and Amazon are been trying to dominate the smart devices field for a long time. Richard Windsor from Edison Investment Research says the online retail giant is winning the battle so far. In comparison to 1 million Home devices shipped by the search giant, the online retailer has shipped over 10 million Amazon speakers, notes the Time Gazette.
However, it cannot be ignored that when it comes to features, Home is much better than Alexa, making it easier for the search giant to fight Amazon. Alexa has nothing of this sort to offer yet even though Amazon has been keen on mesh networking with its $12.5 million dollar investment in a system called Luma. Both can come up with mesh networking next, but Google surely has an edge with its hardware already on the market, notes CNET.
With the launch of this two-in-one smart speaker, the search giant would also rise more in the competition against other companies.
“Many smart home device developers are making sure that their devices are compatible with Google Home. This adds a good reason to go with Amazon’s Echo devices rather than Google,” Windsor said.
As of now, there has been no comment from the search giant on the matter.