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Saturday, 23 September 2017 | MYT 3:00 PM

Google could drop a Home Mini smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo Dot

Google could be poised to reveal a low-cost "mini" version of its Home smart speaker at its fall event, Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017, reports Droid Life. In fact, Google appears to be taking inspiration from Amazon, whose Echo Dot already offers a simplified version of its intelligent home assistant. 

The product visuals shared online show a compact and colourful speaker with an attractive pebble-like design. According to Droid Life, the speaker will be priced under the US$50 (RM210) mark in the USA. Moreover, nothing yet implies that this "mini" version of the speaker could be sold in other markets. Note that scaled-down size could bring scaled-down functionalities, not to mention reduced audio quality for listening to music.

Google launched its Home smart speaker in fall 2016 in the USA. It is a connected voice-controlled device that can be used to search the web with Google, play music, manage daily tasks and control compatible connected devices, all using Google Assistant. With the help of highly sensitive microphones and a natural language processing system, Google Home does a relatively good job of understanding what a home's different occupants are asking, whether it's to play a Spotify playlist or to find out the latest sports results, for example.

Oct 4, Google will also present its latest smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, both running Android Oreo. The range will therefore expand one year after launch with new 5in and 5.5in models. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are currently only available in the USA, Germany, Australia, Canada, the UK and India. Rumour has it that a new Chromebook Pixel could also be on the cards at the October event. — AFP Relaxnews