A US DIGITAL AGENCY has pitted Amazon's Echo against Google Home And the results, to coin a well-worn phrase, may surprise you.
In a 3,000-question test by 360i, Google Home is six times more likely to answer a question with something useful, although Amazon did particularly well in any matters involving purchasing stuff.
At the moment, there's a lot we don't know, most notably exactly what 3,000 questions were asked. However, we do know that Google has the advantage of its Knowledge Graph, a snapshot of answers on just about anything at its disposal, while Amazon Echo uses Bing which, to paraphrase The Untouchables, is like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
In terms of sales, Amazon Echo launched first and currently claims 70 per cent of the voice assistant market and has a burgeoning list of 'skills' from major manufacturers.
By comparison, Google Home has relatively few smart home control chops, relying primarily on IFTTT, which is limited in what it can achieve and often takes a long time between request and execution.
Alexa, on the other hand, can carry out native skill commands in a second or two.
The downside of the two, however, is that Google is Google and Amazon is just not as good. If Echo was able to access the Knowledge Graph, Google Music, and control Chromecasts, then it would be unassailable.
Amazon told INQ at the UK launch of Echo, that the ‘door was open' for Google to add support, but it's not currently in Google's best interest to do so. After all, there's still a significant lack of Windows 10 native apps from the search giant too.
What we really need now from i360 is a bit more meat on these soup bones of analysis.
What were the questions? How were they asked? It's noticeable if you have both an Echo and a Home that they each require slightly different syntax, different from that which you would use as a human, so it could be that it doesn't understand, but does know - if that makes sense.
We're hoping to hear more in the coming weeks and we'll update you. µ
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