What if you could play your favourite Sufi song while washing the dishes, or find the quickest route when you’re running late for work, or watch the latest Bollywood blockbuster after a tiring day? Do all of this from the comfort of your home with a simple “Ok Google”.
Google announced the latest addition to its #MadebyGoogle family of hardware products in India – Google Home and Google Home Mini. Powered by Google Assistant, Google Home and Google Home Mini are Google's voice-activated speakers that are customised for India.
So next time when you are cooking in the kitchen, get an extra hand by asking it for step-by-step instructions (“Let’s make Dum Biryani”) or unwind in the evening with “Play songs from the movie “Satte Pe Satta” or just ask it to add “Atta” to your shopping list before heading out to the supermarket and you’ll have it right there on your smartphone.
From your home to your smartphone, the Google Assistant works across all your devices -- it is the one assistant across your life. With the ability to understand context, it will help with things like your commute, your daily schedule and so more.
Google Home and Google Home Mini will be priced at Rs 9,999, and Rs 4,499 respectively and will be available for purchase online exclusively on Flipkart, and in over 750 retail stores across the country including Reliance Digital, Croma, Bajaj Electronics, Vijay Sales, Sangeetha, and Poorvika. Google Home Mini is available in two colours – Chalk and Charcoal – while Google Home will be available in Chalk. Coral will be coming soon.
The launch also comes with exciting new offers: when buying Google Home or Google Home Mini on Flipkart you get a free JioFi router along with special offers on music subscriptions; when buying Google Home or Google Home Mini on Flipkart you get a free JioFi router along with special offers on exchange and streaming music subscriptions; when buying a Google Home at Reliance Digital or MyJio stores you get a free JioFi router with 100GB of high-speed 4G data (worth Rs 2,499), and at select Philips Hue and Croma outlets you get a Philips Hue + Google Home Mini at a special bundled price.
Also, ACT Fibernet retail customers subscribing to 12-month advance rental plans of 90MBPS and above will receive a Google Home Mini. And above all, users get 10 percent cash back when purchasing using HDFC Bank credit cards.
Speaking at the launch event, Rishi Chandra, VP of Product Management and General Manager of Home Products, Google said; “We are delighted to bring our best-in-class Home products to India. These products have been customised to match the needs of the Indian consumer and you will see that Google Home is true ‘desi’. It understands Indian accents and will respond to you with uniquely Indian contexts. Another unmatched feature of our product is that the Google Assistant can work across all your devices - giving you a personalised Assistant experience in its truest sense.”
Designed to fit seamlessly into your home
Taking inspiration from consumer products commonly found in homes like wine glasses and candles, Google Home feels like an additional home accessory. The top surface has LEDs that light up when Google Home recognizes “OK Google”, so users know when it is listening.
Google Home has been designed with two microphones that utilize a technique called neural beamforming to enable accurate far-field voice recognition. Google has simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied machine learning to recognize patterns that allow it to filter and separate speech from noise. This allows Google Home to deliver best-in-class voice recognition and minimize error rates -- even from across the room.
Google Home Mini is sleek and smooth, with no corners or edges. And it's small enough to easily place anywhere in your home. It’s almost entirely enclosed in custom fabric. Google has created this material from scratch, right down to the yarn. It’s durable and soft, but also transparent enough to let through both light and sound.
The four LED lights underneath the fabric light up to show you when it hears you or when it’s thinking. Mini has far-field mics so it can hear you even when there’s music playing or loud noise in the background. Its circular design can project 360-degree sound, with just one speaker.
Google Home has four key functional areas:
Getting answers from Google
Need answers to a problem? Ask questions, translate phrases, run simple maths calculations and get definitions. Too busy to stay on top of the news? Ask and you shall receive the latest stories from sources such as Times of India, NDTV, Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, Aaj Tak and more. Need a helping hand in the kitchen? Get substitutes, nutritional information and unit conversions without having to wash your atta-covered fingers.
Enjoying your favourite music and videos
Find the right rhythm for every occasion, whether you’re getting into the zone with sunrise yoga, hosting a dinner party, or burning off calories dancing with your little ones. You can play songs, playlists, artists, and albums from your favourite music subscription services like Google Play Music ( free subscription for six months), Saavn and Gaana. You can also pair Google Home or Home Mini with your favourite Bluetooth speaker and set it to be the default output for all your music.
Managing your daily life
The Google Assistant on Google Home has been designed to help you get more stuff done when you have your hands full. Just ask “Ok Google, tell me about my day” or say, “Hey Google, how long will it take to get to work?” and you’ll get up to speed on everything you need to know.
It can wake you up in the morning (or let you snooze), set a timer while you’re baking, and more. And the best part? Up to six people can connect their account to one Google Home, so if you ask your Assistant to tell you about your day, it can distinguish your voice from other people in your family, and give you personalised answers.
Controlling smart devices around your home
Google Home can help you keep track of everything going on in your home. Control your lights, switches and more, using compatible smart devices from brands like Philips Hue and TP-Link. Just ask, and your Assistant will turn off the kitchen light.
Chromecast users can also use voice commands to play Netflix, or YouTube on their TV, and binge watch their favourite show. Enjoy a multi-room experience by grouping Google Home devices together (with Chromecast Audio or Chromecast built-in speakers too) to listen to the same song in every room.
It’s just the beginning...
Your Assistant on Google Home will continue to get better over time as we add more features (look out for Hindi support coming later this year!) In the weeks and months ahead, you’ll see the Google Home experience evolving as we integrate even more exciting third-party apps for the Assistant, so expect even more of your favourite services and content.