Google’s got a new product aimed directly at Amazon’s massively popular Echo smart speaker: Google Home Mini. The company introduced the new product during an event in California on Wednesday morning.
Here’s what the Mini looks like, which is aimed at Amazon’s Echo Dot:
The device costs $49, and is available on October 19 – you can pre-order it starting today.
But what do you actually do with it? The same stuff you’d do on a standard Google Home speaker. You can ask it questions, or directions, or use it to control your television (as long as you a have a Chromecast attached to your TV, of course).
The smaller size of course means it fits in more places – Google suggested using it as an alarm clock, or as a means of controlling a device by voice. It runs the same Google Assistant software that the original Google Home and Google Pixel phones use, meaning it personalizes answers to many of your questions. It knows what you mean when you ask, “How do I get to work?”, for instance.
It comes in a handful of colors, of course:
Don’t expect big sound out of the new Google Home Mini – the diminutive size means this is more focused on being a voice assistant than being a killer speaker. Moreover, Google repeatedly focused on Google Home Mini being a means of turning your standard home into a “smart” home.
You can use it as an intercom of sorts using the new broadcast feature; by placing the Home Mini in various places throughout your house, you can use it to broadcast a message to all Home devices in your house. When you combine that concept with the ability to control your TV and various devices (lights, thermostat, etc.) through voice, it’s easy to see how Google Home Mini could effectively make your home far more connected.
Check out Google Home Mini in action right here: