Essential Products isn’t just introducing a new smartphone. The company also has its sights on the smart home/smart speaker space. Essential’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home is called Essential Home and it’s coming… soon.

There’s no word on the launch date or price, and the company is just starting to give us an idea of what Essential Home can do. But it looks like a more attractive Amazon Echo Show, in that it’s a device that you can interact with using your voice or a touchscreen display. Essential says you can even “glance” at the device to activate it.

Powered by Ambient OS, the Essential Home lets you set custom actions for different activities. For instance, hook it up to your smart lights and you can schedule the lights to turn off at a set time using your voice, or have them flicker when a countdown timer reaches zero.

One way Essential is hoping to make its smart home speaker stand out is privacy: while Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled devices work by sending your data to a remote server, Essential Home has been designed ” to run most things on the device itself, so most data stays in your home where it belongs.”

That doesn’t mean Essential Home will never need to send data over the internet, but the company says it’s taken steps to limit data send to the cloud.

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2 replies on “Essential Home smart home assistant is gunning for Amazon Echo”

  1. Will be interesting to see what they have in mind but… If it is doing it all on device then it seems doubtful their voice capability will match industry standards. Also if I can activate it by glancing at it then that means it has a camera that’s running all the time. No bueno.
    Finally I never doubted Google had the clout and pockets to deliver a platform third parties would be interested in. I just had some doubts they’d exercise those. Turns out they have been on the job and are quickly catching up to Alexa.
    “Essential” though… not sure what kind of money or clout they have to invest in a platform that’s enticing enough to get third parties on board. They might have a chicken and egg problem. Or maybe they’ve got a nifty solution? Remains to be seen.
    Will be curious to see what services they launch with.

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