Google Home, the company’s internet-connected smart speaker, is finally getting some siblings: Anker, Panasonic and Mobvoi all introduced their own voice-controlled speakers with access to Google’s Assistant at the IFA trade show in Berlin Wednesday.
Anker’s Zolo Mojo, Mobvoi’s TicHome Mini and Panasonic’s GA10 will all become available later this year, and most of them will sell in the U.S. as well as the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and France.
All of these speakers come with far-field microphones built-in, able to detect voices from across the room and jump into action as soon as they hear the “OK Google” wake words. All of them can be used to query Google for news and information, and they also all support multi-room audio, and can be paired up with Google Homes and Chromecast Audio-equipped speakers for this purpose.
In other words: They work just like a Google Home. But there are some differences: Mobvoi’s TicHome Mini for example comes with an internal battery that’s capable of powering the speaker for up to six hours of wireless operation. The speaker also is a good bit smaller than a Google Home, and is just slightly larger than an Amazon Echo Dot. Mobvoi has yet to announce pricing, but said Wednesday that it intends to sell the device in a variety of colors for less than $100.
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Google announced at Google I/O in May that it was going to bring the Google Assistant to devices manufactured by Polk Audio, B&O Play, Bang & Olufsen, Sony and others over time. It’s likely that we will get to hear additional partnership announcements as IFA unfolds.
The company also announced Wednesday that it was bringing support for the Google Assistant to washers, dryers and other appliances from LG and other manufacturers in the coming months. “Need to clean up? It’s as easy as ‘Ok Google, start vacuuming'”, wrote Google Assistant senior director Abhi Taneja in a blog post announcing the new partnerships. “Getting help around the house will be easier than ever.”
Google is competing in the smart speaker and assistant space with Amazon and Apple, and the company is arguably playing a bit of catch up to Amazon in particular. Amazon has licensed its voice technology to a wide range of consumer electronics companies, and the company’s Alexa assistant has been integrated into everything from cheap $50 speakers to car dashboards and wireless headphones.
Update: 1:27pm: This post was updated with additional information in on Mobvoi’s TicHome Mini.