Google Home, Chromecast Ultra and Wi-Fi launched for a smarter home

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Other than the Pixel phones and Daydream View VR, Google is also announcing that the Wi-Fi enabled Google Home smart speaker will go on sale for $129 in US on the Play Store. This speaker was originally announced at Google I/O earlier this year and was touted for its smart capabilities as it also has the new Google Assistant baked in. This speaker will more or less take on the Amazon Echo in the US market which also comes with the Alexa smart assistant.

It has multiple microphones and it intelligently cancels noise. It has side facing radiators and Google claims it delivers great audio. It supports a number of services like Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio in addition to Google Play music or YouTube. You can also easily set a default music service. The music is search is powered by Google so even if you don’t remember the name of the song Google will be able to figure it out. Users will also be able to cast audio from your Google Android smartphones.

Google Home also gets answers from Google. It leverages Google’s knowledge graph. So you can literally ask it any question and it will probably be able to answer it. It also sources information from places like Wikipedia. It also leverages these smarts with the Google Assistant. Home also has a feature called My day which does a brief roundup of your day which can act like a briefing.

Google Home will support voice casting to allow users to control YouTube via Chromecast. This feature will also soon come to Netflix. Google is also adding support for this for Google Photos service.

You can also have multiple Google Home speakers. It will come with a 6-month free trail of YouTube red. It comes in a number of new colours which also include fabric finishes.

Google will also work with partners and help them integrate their services with it and the Assistant. Google is touting it like its next big open platform.

Google has also launched a new Chromecast – called the Chromecast Ultra which will be able to beam 4K video and also will also have the ability handle HDR video, something which content providers like Netflix are pushing towards users. Design wise this is a HDMI dongle which is more of an evolution of the Chromecast 2. It is 1.8 times faster than Chromecast 2.

With the added functionality also comes a new price of $69, which is almost twice that of the previous Chromecast models. Google is also saying that it will be roll out 4K content in Play Movies. It will be available in November.

One of the lower key announcements at the event was that of the new Google Wi-Fi which is a smart Wi-Fi router providing enhanced range allowing Google Wi-Fi access points to be daisy chained creating a bigger Wi-Fi network. Google touts its mesh technology which is similar to the Eero Wi-Fi system sold in the states allowing multiple routers to be interconnected helping the user remove dead zones in his/her house. The router will be sold for $129. Google will also sell a pack of three which will cost $299. This will be available in December.

It comes with a new feature called network assist which allows users to get access to the best possible network. Google allows users to control which device can be used and can also help pause certain devices.

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Google Home, Chromecast Ultra and Wi-Fi launched for a smarter home