There was an article published this week in The Information that discusses problems at Alphabet’s Nest division. Acquired back in 2014 for $3.2 billion , there was hopes that the company would give Google/Alphabet an edge in the smart home market.
Aside from the problems identified in the piece, is the following paragraph about Google working on competition aimed directly at the Amazon Echo:
Separately, Nest asked to be included in a secret Google project to create a competitor to Amazon’s Echo, a voice-controlled personal assistant device. But the Google executive in charge of the project, which has not been reported on publicly until now, said Nest would not be involved in its development, according to a person with knowledge of the discussion.
Echo has been a surprise hit for Amazon. At this point, Amazon hasn’t released sales figures yet, but there’s some good data out there, along with speculation from third parties, that argue that it’s been selling quite well. To help compound this information, Amazon has released two additional products in the Echo family – a smart home hub, as well as a portable speaker. Both of these products are powered by Alexa, Echo’s virtual assistant.
The technology that Google possesses is complete and ready to help produce a viable competitor to Echo/Alexa.