Taking on Amazon ‘s Alexa-powered smart speakers, Google on Tuesday brought its voice-activated speakers “Home” and “Home Mini” to India that can help people with their commute, play favourite songs and videos, plan daily schedule and lots more.
Powered by Google Assistant, “Home” and “Home Mini” are priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively, and will be intregrated with Hindi language support by the end of this year.
“We will launch Hindi language support later this year so that users can choose the language they are comfortable with. Both the devices understand Indian accents and will respond with uniquely ‘desi’ contexts,” Rishi Chandra, Vice President of Product Management and General Manager of Home Products, Google, told reporters here.
The smart home speakers will be available for purchase online on Flipkart and at over 750 retail stores.
“We have ben working with many local partners to customise Google Home for India. We will offer free six months of Google Play Music — a music and podcast streaming service — and special offers from commercial music streaming service Gaana,” Chandra added.
Google “Home Mini” is available in two colours — chalk and charcoal — while Google “Home” will be available initially in chalk only — with coral coming soon).
Google “Home” or Google “Home Mini” on Flipkart will come with a free Jio-Fi router along with special offers on 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),” the company said in a statement.
The top surface of the devices has LEDs that light up when Google “Home” recognises “OK Google”.
Google “Home” has been designed with two microphones that utilise a technique called “neural beam forming” to enable accurate far-field voice recognition.
Google has simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied Machine Learning (ML) to recognise patterns that allow it to filter and separate speech from noise.