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The news comes courtesy of Recode, which reports that multiple sources have confirmed an internal project to produce the device. Codenamed “Chirp,” the in-home assistant is said to resemble the company’s OnHub router.
But while the supposed device will be new, the underlying technology that would power it won’t be. Google has been refining its voice assistant for some time now, and placing it front and center on Android with Google Now, the company has generated tons of requests from users that help refine the results that the service serves up.
While the Amazon Echo is the current champion of the in-home search device (essentially by default), Google isn’t entirely new to the home, either. Its Nest thermostat and Chromecast have already given the company one foot in the door. An Echo-style device could be the next step toward Google being a leader in Internet of Things-powered smart homes.
The details on Chirp are still sparse, but Recode‘s reporting does seem to jive with earlier reports from The Information, which claimed Google and Nest have several products in development, including a competitor for the Echo.
Chirp isn’t expected to make a showing at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference, but the voice search technology and its recent improvements should be on full display. If you need a fix of Google Now at home in the mean time, maybe just drop an Android device into a Pringles can.
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.