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Report: Google I/O to focus on voice search as Google preps ‘Chirp’ competitor to Amazon Echo


Back in March, The Information reported that Google is working on an Amazon Echo competitor. Today, Recode has confirmed such a device and added that we might get a peak of it at Google I/O. While it won’t launch next week, the conference will reportedly have a big focus on voice search and personal assistants.

The device has yet to be named, but internally the project is codenamed “Chirp.” It reportedly resembles the line of OnHub wireless routers that Google currently sells. Internally, Google believes its voice assistant technology found on Android devices to be leading the industry.

However, they have yet to enter the growing home market. We spotted a reference to a Living Room initiative last year at a developer conference focused on the Internet of Things and it was spotted again during Google’s hardware re-org.

According to Recode, it’s unlikely that the device will launch next week at Google I/O, but we might get a look at it. Google is currently targeting a launch sometime this year. The report adds that this year’s conference will have a big focus on “voice search and intelligent personal assistance.”

In his Founders’ Letter, Sundar Pichai said that “smart assistance should understand all of these things and be helpful at the right time, in the right way.” During last quarter’s earnings call, Pichai also mentioned how we’ll soon be living in an AI first world.

Several Google apps have recently been updated with AI-powered features. Google Calendar was recently updated with a feature that intelligently finds the best time for your activities and YouTube is using deep neural networks for video recommendations.


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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: