Google is already working on a Google Home 2 product for later this year, and the device is expected to offer users an extra feature that its biggest rival, the Amazon Echo, can’t deliver.
When it comes to voice-based virtual assistants for the home, Amazon still seems to be the leader, but now Google is looking to catch up. One way to make the Home 2 a device more compelling than Amazon’s Echo is to add extra functionality. According to The Information, that extra feature seems to be Wi-Fi.
The next-gen Home speaker will also double as a Wi-Fi router, the report explains. If you already have a great router handling your wireless internet, you can still use the Home 2 to extend that coverage to areas of the house where you get a weaker signal.
Interestingly, Google Assistant functionality was initially planned for the Google WiFi, Google’s router that was released alongside the first-gen Google Home last year. Google wanted to equip the WiFi routers with a microphone and a speaker that would have allowed users to interact with the Assistant. Google canceled those plans, but a Google WiFi upgrade may be in the cards for this year.
The report doesn’t mention price details or a launch date for either product. It’ll be interesting to see whether Google can ship a Home 2 device with Wi-Fi that won’t be significantly more expensive than its main rival.