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Google Plots New Hardware to Take on Echo

The battle between Alphabet and Amazon over the home assistant market is heating up.

Google has been contemplating a big move to compete with Amazon’s Echo in hardware sales: releasing a version of its Google Home intelligent speaker with built-in mesh Wi-Fi networking, said a person with knowledge of the project.

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Instead, Alphabet shipped the currently available version of Google Wi-Fi, which doesn’t have a speaker or microphone. Although Alphabet’s product roadmap isn’t clear, the person said it’s possible the company may launch the initial version of Google Wi-Fi at some point, as Amazon doesn’t currently sell a similar product.

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Ultimately, the home device race is more about software than hardware. Google is seeking to get its artificial intelligence on a range of devices.