Google Home, Google's AI-powered smart speaker, is finally launching in the UK

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LONDON — The long wait is over: Google Home is finally launching in the UK.

On Tuesday morning, Google announced at an event in central London that it is releasing Google Home, its AI-powered smart speaker, in Britain.

The device was first unveiled in October 2016, but it was initially only available to buy in the US.

Google Home is a speaker infused with Google Assistant, Google’s AI virtual assistant. It’s controlled by voice commands, and can play music, provide updates on news and weather, tell the user about their schedule, set timers, and more. (Google Assistant is also available in some Android smartphones, and is being ported into more and more devices.)

It goes on sale on April 6 from Google’s website and other retailers, for £129.

Virtual assistants are a hot area in tech right now. Competing with the Google Home, Amazon has Echo, its own smart speaker. In Business Insider’s review of the Google Home, published in November 2016, my colleague Steve Kovach called the device “better than the Echo”:

“Google introduced a new version of itself at its big product launch event last month. It’s finally getting serious about hardware in order to push its excellent ecosystem of services forward. The Pixel phone was a great start, and Home is a thoughtful way to make Assistant even more accessible.

“Home may be a brand new category of gadget, but Assistant is so smart and works so well that it’s like experiencing a bit of the future right now. It’s one of those rare products you didn’t even know you needed.”

More to follow…

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