GOOGLE HAS announced the release of its latest hardware products in the UK.
Google Home, the company's smart speaker rival to Amazon Echo, will go on sale on 6 April offering integration with the entire Google ecosystem via Google Assistant, currently rolling out to newer Android devices.
Google WiFi, launching the same day, is the company's whole-home WiFi router, offering mesh connection between units for better coverage.
Google has confirmed localised partnerships with providers including the BBC, Sky News, FT, The Sun and The Guardian. It also offers smart home integration with Nest, SmartThings and Philips Hue available from launch, with many more offered via IFTTT.
We've also confirmed that UK-based smart home company Energenie and German thermostat maker Tado are amongst companies that will be offering integration with IFTTT ahead of full integration soon.
Google Home also offers a briefing that combines weather, calendar and news, as well as drawing on other Google services to create a whole home system capable of controlling Chromecast playback and connected speakers.
Google WiF will use meshing to improve the signal of each unit placed around the home, as well as defaulting to Google DNS servers for low latency, and the whole thing is controlled by an app. It can turn off individual units at different times, so you could, theoretically, limit your childrens' access at bedtime.
However, the bad news all this comes at a significant cost compared to the US. Google WiFi is £129 for one unit, and £229 for two. Compare that with $299 (£237) for three in the US (that'll be Brexit, then).
Google Home units are £129, slightly cheaper than a full-price Amazon Echo, but significantly more than the Echo Dot, for which there is nothing similar (except your phone, of course). Coloured interchangeable bases to match your decor clock in at £18 for fabric or £36 for metal.
Google has also confirmed that as well as UK English recognition and UK voice, the Assistant has a few UK Easter Eggs to find as well, that we're told give a local flavour.
Products will be available off the shelf from the likes of Argos, Dixons, John Lewis, Maplin and EE Stores, as well as the Google Store. µ
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