Google has been mighty busy lately.
On Tuesday, the company announced a buzzed-about phone, Pixel, and launched preorders for Google Home, its answer to a central question in the smart home biz: How do we get all these disparate doodads to communicate with one another seamlessly and elegantly? Now it’s muscling into more smart home territory with Google Wifi, which aims to improve consumers’ at-home wireless internet strength and reliability.
While the arrival of Google Home is a direct challenge to the Amazon Echo and its "Alexa" voice-activated operating system (which has won a fair number of fans since its release in the U.S. in June of last year and is sure to win some new U.K. fans as well now that it’s available there, too), Google Wifi is angling for territory dominated by smaller companies like San Francisco’s Eero, whose Wi-Fi boosting system has been well-reviewed. Eero rivals like Plume, which starts shipping in November, have more to worry about, too.
Even the sleek, white body of the Google Wifi units (over at Circuit Breaker, the gadget blog run by our sister site, the Verge, the units’ shape and smoothness were likened to a hockey puck), is reminiscent of Eero, which has more of a rounded-square shape but a similar aesthetic.
Google Wifi, which will retail for $129 a unit (or $299 for a triple pack) when it starts arriving on consumers’ doorsteps in December. Like nearly all home tech products, you’ll be able to interface with Google Wifi via a smartphone app (perhaps from your new Pixel?).