Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Tech Times | Google may have its own Echo coming soon

Published:Monday | May 16, 2016 | 5:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO

The crowd of stand-alone, voice-activated digital assistants may get a little bigger soon, with a report from Recode that Google could be working on its own version.

While voice-activated assistants such as Siri, Cortana and OK Google have been in use on smartphones for several years, the surprise success of the Amazon Echo and its Alexa has presented tech companies with the possibility of a new and so far mostly untapped way for customers to use these assistants.

A further broadening of the market could mean a shift in how people interact with technology. Voice-recognition software that isn't tied to a smartphone but is on a communal device meant for home use is inherently less antisocial, say tech watchers.

According to Recode, Google has a hardware device in the works that would use its search- and voice-assistant technology OK, Google.

According to the tech site, Google's device will resemble its OnHub wireless router, which looks something like a black or blue upside down flower pot.

The code name for the project is 'Chirp', according to the site. That would fit with previous stories by tech site The Information that Google's Nest group was working on some sort of stand-alone device, if the birding theme were kept to.

Google has declined comment.