Google Home and Wifi coming to Australia

Google Home and Wifi coming to Australia

Google Home and Wifi coming to Australia

A smartphone app for controlling Google WiFi lets you put broadband on pause for kids' devices, or create recurring pauses for dinner or homework with scheduled pause.

Google Home is a voice-activated "smart speaker" running Google Assistant software, which is going toe-to-toe with Apple's Siri in the personal assistant space.

Adding voice commands to existing smart home systems should help "democratise" them, says Raunaq Shah, the Google product manager in charge of Home.

Google Home will greet you at the start of the day, can tell you what's in your diary and even read you the news from Fox Sports, ABC, The Aus, Huff Post and Sky News.

Once installed, Google Home promises to work as a digital assistant to your day, controlling your smart home through integrations with smart platforms like IFTTT, as well as simply letting you turn on music or TV with your voice. If you don't have a particular food item on the menu, it'll offer substitutes, provide nutritional information and unit conversions without having to wash your flour covered fingers.

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Or, and maybe if you're home alone, use it to verbally Google all of those random things you wonder, like "Where is NSW?".

Google Home is also helpful in the kitchen. Google Engineers have a sense of humor and have given Assistant an Aussie voice, and personality that extends to it understanding Aussie slang.

"Ask it for brekkie ideas or where the nearest servo is". You can also ask it what sound a Kookaburra makes, and it'll cue the laughter we all know and love.

If you've got a large family, up to six people with a Google account can connect to a single device and it should be able to tell each user's different voice.

Turn up your tunesGoogle are offering a nice little bonus for Home customers.

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When it's not doing any of that, which is probably 99% of the time, Google Home can play streaming music through a set of punchy speakers. This means you get to call up tracks, albums, remixes and more - all completely ad-free.

Alongside the launch of the Google smart speaker will be the Australian launch of Google Wifi, the company's mesh Wi-Fi network product, which is created to cover your entire home with super-fast, reliable Wi-Fi, capable of handling the demands of 4K video streams in a simple, minimal design. Some Wi-Fi routers haven't always been built to support the increasing number of devices we use or high bandwidth activities like gaming or watching videos. "The result is Wi-Fi coverage even in hard-to reach areas, not just right next to the router", Shah said.

Smart speakers are shaping up to be the heart of the smart home, with Internet of Things pioneer Nest launching in Australia last week to coincide with their arrival.

Starting July 20, you can buy both Google Home and Wifi from the search-giant directly, but the company lists several Australian retailers as well, such as Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, and Telstra to name a few.

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