Speaking under the promise of anonymity, sources confirmed to the New York Times that Google will announce Google Home, its virtual assistant during tomorrow's I/O conference.
Google Home will be a voice-activated device that answers questions and performs tasks, per the Times' write-up.
Analysts told New York Times reporters that Google has its work cut out for them in the virtual agent space despite the company's success in dozens of other markets such as virtual reality. "Google has seemingly let the competition catch up — level the playing field, even," said Forrester Research analyst Julie A. Ask (per New York Times). It’s all the more critical that they do well here, given earlier misses on instant messaging and social media."
Google aims to release Home this fall, and hopes to gain ground lost to Apple and Amazon, whose Siri and Echo assistants have enjoyed widespread adoption. Echo, less than 24 months old, already occupies a spot in three million homes and businesses, according to the New York Times.