Andy Rubin, the founder of Essential and the creator of Android OS, unveiled the intelligent assistant device – the Home. The Essential Home is a voice-based smart home device that rivals Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The device sports a circular design, mimicking Google’s intelligent Nest thermostat. Its puck-like design houses a round touchscreen atop, which allows users to control music, control lights, answer general questions, and much more. It can be activated in three ways; by a simple voice commands, a tap of a finger, or by glance at it.
“Essential Home will help with daily tasks, but it will also let you create new experiences in the home with the devices you have. Think of it as an orchestra conductor for your digital instruments – something that can get them to start to work together in new, exciting ways,” says Mara Segal, Head of Product: Home Devices.
The Home’s most interesting feature might be its operating system: Ambient OS. According to Essential’s head of engineering Manuel Roman, Ambient OS is aware of the physical layout of your home, the people that live in it, services relevant to both your home and the people within, and devices. The open platform can directly interact with speakers, lighting and other smart speakers in the home, and is less reliant on cloud;Plus, it comes with a number of privacy features built-in for added security.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but the Home is expected to be shipped later this summer. Alongside the launch of the Home, Andy Rubin’s Essential Inc also launched its first smartphone that’s going to rival Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy S8.