The hardware device that Google is reportedly building to directly compete with Amazon's Echo is codenamed "Chirp," Recode reports. The speaker/voice assistant is expected to launch later this year, with a preview reportedly coming at Google's I/O developer conference next week.
Unnamed sources told Recode that Chirp will resemble Google's OnHub wireless router.
While Google has deployed strong voice assistance technology, prompted by the phrase "Okay, Google," on its Android devices, it has yet to do so on home devices.
Amazon, meanwhile, has developed a comprehensive smart home strategy with is collection of Alexa-powered devices. the Echo, Tap and Echo Dot. The platform gives Amazon the opportunity to further capitalize on the Internet of Things.
Google dove into the realm of home automation devices in 2014 with its $3.2B purchase of Nest, though there are signs Nest may be on shaky ground: After generating $340 million in revenue last year, the subsidiary was pegged as underperforming. Last month, Nest announced it is shutting down its Revolv device smart hubs. However, on Wednesday, Nest launched OpenThread, a version of the connected home networking protocol used in the firm's products available to the open-source community. The release is expected to accelerate the development of products for the connected home.