Android inventor's Echo competitor will choreograph your home

Andrew Gebhart for CNet:  Andy Rubin has turned his attention to the kitchen counter and the smart home. Alongside the Essential Phone, the founder of Android on Tuesday debuted the Essential Home -- a countertop smart speaker that has a lot in common with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.

Like the Echo and the Home, you'll be able to issue commands with your voice to search the internet for info, play music, and control your smart home. Unlike the two existing smart speakers, the Essential Home has a screen and will offer full touch controls in addition to voice controls. Supposedly, you'll even be able to interact with the Essential Home just by looking at it.

Essentially different

The Home will aim to differentiate itself further by processing as many of your commands locally as possible -- the Echo and Google Home function entirely through the cloud, and gather data from your commands. It'll also offer proactive notifications from the get-go -- a feature still in the works for Amazon and Google's competitors.

Essential's example of a notification hints that it'll integrate with your calendar and have maps and traffic data as well -- it'll let you know you need to leave early for an appointment if traffic is getting backed up.  Full Article:

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