Digital voice assistants using AI to tell us about the news and weather and can do tasks such as playing music and turning lights.
More and more Australians are embracing smart homes using Amazon’s Alexa, or Google’s Assistant, despite concerns about privacy.
The devices are fitted with microphones so they can accept voice commands, which are supposed to listen just for their “wake word” to begin listening, typically through commands such as “Alexa” or “OK Google”.
So out of the two most popular devices, the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which is better for you?
AMAZON ECHO STUDIO — $329
First of all, both the Amazon Echo and Google Home both have the same features.
The Echo Studio comes with a hardwired switch to switch off the speaker’s listening capacities, which is not possible for hackers to manipulate remotely. A red light illuminates to let you know when the mic is off.
In a less planned security attribute, increasing the Echo Studio to its Max volume can stop the mic being able to hear you, even if you want it to.
GOOGLE HOME MAX — $399
The Google Home Max is designed to sit vertically to save space.
The Google Home Max is Google’s take on the smart home. Google has dominated the Australian smart home market, with recent data placing its share at more than 70% (Amazon trailed in second, with just 15%).
The sound quality can be somewhat muddy and can lean towards getting too much bass, even if the Smart Sound feature adapts the audio to the room the speaker is in. Slightly excessive base aside, the Home Max provides a decent excellent sound that is backed by the intellect of the Google Assistant.
If you have an Android smartphone that this might be especially attractive as you will also have Google Assistant in your phone, which means you don’t need to install any other smart devices in your home with a new platform.