Google has always been good at dominating important sectors of the tech industry. They’re #1 in terms of Desktop Search and Mobile Search. In October, Google threw their hat into the ring of the voice-activated tech devices game with the launch of Google Home. Thus, making 2016 the year they pursue the hands-free search market. This is the 3rd generational change Google has had to deal with. But it’s the first time they’re slightly behind the 8-ball. Amazon beat them to the punch with their line of smart home devices voiced by their intelligent personal assistant, Alexa. Keep reading to learn how Amazon was able to pull ahead in this niche market, and what Google has to do if they want to be #1 again.
The Battle of Voice-Activated Tech Devices
In 2014, Amazon released it’s first Echo device. With not much competition up until October of this year, Amazon has had plenty of time to improve upon its voice-activated device. So much so that there is now a series of devices – Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, and the smallest of the three, Amazon Dot. Google’s establishment of Google Home is a direct response to Amazon’s line of voice-activated devices.
Both Google Home and Amazon’s Echo line function as a personal assistant, smart home controller, and as an entertainer. What sets them apart is the variety of IoT devices and apps that are able to integrate with each. Since Amazon’s devices have been around longer, they’re integrated with more things.
If Google wants to re-take their crown and be #1 in the hands-free search market, they will have to work quickly to expand Google Home’s capabilities. Based on their previous success in Desktop Search and Mobile Search, they seem up for the challenge. It’s likely that Amazon has been preparing for this battle of the voice-activated tech devices. Hopefully, they have a plan on how to stay ahead of their competition because Google definitely has something in the works to overtake them.
What to Watch For in 2017
These devices will become far more capable and perhaps there will be more competition. It’s possible Microsoft’s Cortana will want a piece of the action. And there’s a chance a third-party developer may come out of nowhere and surprise the tech universe.
Many tech forecasters see smart-home devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo garnishing the same level of popularity as smartphones. It will be interesting to watch the popularity and capability of smart-home devices expand as we head into 2017.