Apart from the Essential Phone and a modular accessory for it, Andy Rubin’s Essential also unveiled the Essential Home to take on Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. Purely based on its design, the Essential Home looks much better than Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
Similar to Google Home and Amazon Echo, one can use the Essential Home to control music playback on their home speakers, check the weather, control their smart appliances, set timers, and more. The device runs on Ambient OS that will alert you with relevant information throughout the day. It can be activated using the touch screen, by voice, or just glancing at it.
Details about the Essential Home and Ambient OS are scarce, with Essential not providing any details on its release date, functionality, and compatibility with other standards. Essential did not even have a demo of the product up for show and as things stand right now, the Essential Home purely exists in renders. It is supposed to ship later this summer and will support SmartThings, HomeKit, Nest, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri. No other ‘smart’ device in the market right now works with such a wide array of standards so if the Essential Home really does end up supporting all these standards at launch, its chances of being a winner already increase exponentially.
Another key aspect of Essential Home that sets it apart from Google Home and Amazon Echo is that all the processing happens locally and not in the cloud. This way, the company hopes to win over the privacy freaks out there who are not comfortable with all of their data being sent to the cloud.