INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Google Home launched in Singapore

It also launched a developer platform so brands can build services related to Google Assistant.

Google launched its smart speakers in Singapore, Google Home and Google Home Mini, two years after its launch in the United States. This follows several launches of its other hardware devices in the country.

Google Home uses Google Assistant that is able to respond to voice commands. "You can get answers, turn up the music, manage everyday tasks or control smart devices around your home," Google said. Home and Mini are also designed to connect with smart homes and will support popular home automation systems such as Philips Hue and TP-Link.

Up to six people can also link their accounts to the device for personalised responses.

Moreover, Google Assistant has enabled Actions with the launch of a developer platform, Actions on Google in Singapore. "This means lots of your favourite brands can build for the Google Assistant. Just say 'Hey Google, talk to...' and your Assistant will connect you with a range of Actions and services, including those from Bus Uncle, National Library Board, OCBC Bank, StarHub, Singapore Airlines, and more," the company added.

The two devices can be found in Starhub, COURTS and Challenger outlets in Singapore. Google Home currently costs $189 whilst the mini version costs $79.

Moreover, the company also launched its official Google store in Singapore, which offers six products as of writing. It said it is the first Google store in Southeast Asia. It offers Pixel, Google Pixel Buds, Chromecast, and Google Wifi, which were previously launched in the country.

Google director for APAC hardware product planning and partnerships Mickey Kim said, “We’re excited to bring more Made By Google hardware products to Singapore. With Google Home and Mini, we want to help busy Singaporeans tap into the power of the Google Assistant by providing answers and hands-free help in their daily lives. The newly launched Google Store is part of our commitment to bring our hardware to more Singaporeans following the positive response we’ve seen so far.”

Juniper Research previously revealed that there is a growing trend for devices with multiple assistants (eg, Google Assistant and Cortana being available on the same speaker). "The current experience with multi-assistant devices is unwieldy, and Juniper argues that hardware and software vendors need to make cross-assistant usage smoother and more intuitive," it said.

Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Sonos One are expected to be installed in over 70 million US households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes.

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