The last couple of years, leading technology companies try to prove to us that artificial intelligence is the future, and we may use it for their own purposes. Was first presented to the voice assistants (Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa), to extend the capabilities of our smartphones. A little later, they “moved” to speakers and have become centres of “smart home”. Today I will talk about smart columns Google and share their experiences.
Google introduced its first smart column in may 2016 at the conference Google I/O. Since then, the company is actively engaged in the promotion of smart home devices and managed to show several new products. Then there was the announcement of the Google Home – first column, supporting the work of the virtual assistant Google Assistant.
Appearance Google Home minimalist, everything is done stylishly and with taste. The housing consists of two parts – a plastic cylinder with a beveled top face, inside which there is all the iron, removable fabric bowls, which are hiding the dynamics of the column. The choice available in different colors the bottom, so you can choose the option that will fit perfectly into your interior.
On the smart column you will find the usual controls: there is only one single button to disable the microphone, and there are no designated touch-sensitive area which can be used to adjust the volume, call the assistant or pause the music. All the evidence suggests that the main control is via voice.
A year after the presentation of Google Home the company of mountain view has introduced two versions: Mini and Google Home Google Home Max. The design of the younger speakers is reminiscent of the washer, or donut, especially here in this coral color. All in all the choice available three colours. Most of the exterior is covered with pleasant to the touch fabric, due to what the column looks interesting and unusual. From the controls – only a lever to turn off the microphone. To interact with the speaker you can use your voice or using touch faces.
I the appearance of speakers like, they are well assembled, using high-quality materials. Such a device will easily fit into almost any interior.
What is missing in the design of the speakers (especially the Mini version), so it’s internal battery. They both work only from the network, and would like the opportunity to use them as portable speakers. But there is a small lifehack: Google Home Mini can be connected to powerbank and thus turn it into a portable speaker.
Let’s move on to the musical component speakers. Given its fairly small size (about 15 inches tall and nearly 10 inches in diameter), Google Home impressed with the sound capabilities. From such a compact device you a priori do not expect a pleasant sound. But really, we have a clean sound with good volume (at home I have the volume level was usually about 60%). The lower frequency also expressed very adequately. There are two high frequency and two low frequency dynamics. Of course, it is not necessary to consider this column as an ideal sound source, but for the device of such format, it sounds good.
As for Google Home Mini, she is also pleased with its sound. Here, low frequencies of course, you won’t get it, but sounds good column. “A BJ”, for example, is perfect for listening to music in the morning while you are going to work (especially if you get up early, it certainly will not Wake the neighbors).
Well, since we are talking about music, I note that all of the convenience of smart speakers start to notice in the process of operation. To start a favorite song or playlist it is enough to say: “Hey Google, play music”, and the process has begun. This is much faster and more convenient than opening a laptop and looking for the right song. Google Assistant works with a variety of music services: Google Music, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer and several others, so you have a huge music library. By the way, you don’t even have to have a paid subscription to these services, as some of them work in the free version (though may not be available to some functions or you may see ads between tracks).
Go to part “smart”. To connect and setup Google Home, you should use the same app you find in Google Play or App Store. In the app you can select your favorite music service to tie up other “smart” devices programmed to perform several tasks at the word-trigger and more. It is important to remember that while Google Assistant does not support Russian language, and therefore to communicate with the column it is necessary in English, and news services in English are supported too (but we remember that Google is already testing Russian for your virtual assistant).
I use Google Home for several months, I have developed the following scenario of usage of the device. In the morning the column wakes me up at a specified time and to my greeting of “Hey Google, good morning” talks about the weather, the task list for the day and how much time I get to work. Then I turn on some playlist and going to pack. Come home I greet column with the phrase “Hey Google, I’m home”, whereupon the virtual assistant includes smart lamp from Xiaomi and launches the selected playlist. Evening with speakers conveniently reminders to do the next day, set the timer during cooking and adjust the temperature in the apartment through the Nest thermostat. Well, going to bed, I say “Hey Google, goodnight”, and the column turns off the light, the music, sets the required temperature in the house and asks what time I Wake up tomorrow.
In addition, at any time you can ask assistant from Google any question, ask him to make a joke or to play with him in the game. I’m sure it is for such virtual assistants the future, because they help to simplify and automate our daily routine and to entertain us.
So if you are just thinking about buying smart column, start from Home Google Mini: it looks great, produces good sound and it has all the benefits of Google Assistant. Of course, the potential of Google reveals Home as soon as you begin to appear more and more devices in the smart home, but for a start – it. Especially now it can be purchased for $ 30 on a different outlet (I, for example, did so during a pre-Christmas stock). Well, if you want to get along with a good music device in a compact housing, then look to the Google Home gadget will cost about $ 130.
Direct competitors of the smart are speakers Google Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. They have similar characteristics, but are running your virtual assistant, Alexa. To compare the prices of the device is possible here.
Ask your questions in the comments and write what smart home devices do you use!