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The New York Times this morning reports that tomorrow, Google is expected to unveil its entry in the artificial intelligence/connected home area.

According to the story, "The Google Home device, which looks a little like an air freshener, is expected to go on sale later this month. Google Home is powered by what Google calls the Assistant, which uses artificial intelligence to understand what users are saying and respond conversationally with the best answers. Google introduced a messaging app last month that incorporates the Assistant, and the company plans to add the feature to its latest smartphones and tablets."

The Times points out that the unveiling - and the sale of the Assistant later this month - is designed to provide an answer to Amazon's Alexa-based technology, as provided in its Echo device, which "vaulted" Amazon ahead of Google (and Apple) in this area.

"Given the newness of the market for artificially intelligent home gadgets, Google has plenty of time to close the gap," the Times writes. "The company believes it can win over consumers with a smarter digital assistant that builds on its stronghold in search and years of research in artificial intelligence."
KC's View:
The story goes on to point out that "Amazon says tens of thousands of developers are creating skills for Alexa, more than 3,000 of which have been released so far. And thousands of developers are working to incorporate Alexa’s voice capabilities into their hardware products. Last month, GE Appliances announced an Alexa app that lets people preheat a connected oven with voice commands."

The connected home will become a reality far faster, I think, than most people would have expected. Customer-facing businesses have to start preparing for this trend now.

I know this because I asked my Echo, and Alexa told me so. (Just kidding.)