Amazon is already a significant threat to Google’s core search business through the growing numbers of product searches that start with the Amazon app rather than Google.
Given its knowledge of consumer behaviour on desktop and on mobile, Google no doubt sees Chirp, alongside Nest, as a way of getting a foothold within the connected home and capturing even more data on consumer behaviour. But it’s interesting to note that there have been reports of Nest being excluded from the Chirp development process.
Google’s experience with Google Now and voice search would suggest that Chirp’s voice recognition will meet the high standards set by the Echo, which based on my own experiences with it is very impressive.
In assuming high technical standards and the capability to integrate with other smart appliances, we can expect both devices to have strengths in different areas based on their respective ecosystems.
Amazon will have the better shopping play
In the US at least the integration with Prime makes the Echo a superior proposition for ecommerce and in the longer term, voice or even automated grocery shopping.
But with a wider range of services within the ecosystem (Now, search, Gmail, calendar, Google Play, Chromecast) the Chirp promises to offer more wide ranging functionality and deeper integration.
Ultimately, this can be seen as a stepping stone on the way to Google’s vision of the future – where we move to an Artificial Intelligence (AI), rather than a device centric world, interacting with Google through voice or machine-to-machine communication carried out on our behalf, through any number of connected interfaces in the world around us.
The development of Chirp is a positive step in the right direction, the innovation in this area is bringing more options to brands looking to engage and respond to consumers’ needs and demands. But it is still in its infancy.
Brands involved will need to learn as they go and ensure they toe the line between useful and overbearing. There is no doubt that we are moving ever closer to a truly connected home and AI will become a core part of our lives in the years to come.