Google Home to come into seven more countries - but no plans to bring to Ireland

Google’s smart speakers are to be made available in more countries this year, but there’s still no sign of them going on sale in Ireland.

Google I/O, the internet giant’s annual festival for developers, comes to a close in California today and among the announcements at the event, so far, was the revelation that Google Home will go on sale in more countries this year.

Google Home, and its smaller counterpart Google Home Mini, are speakers that allow users interact with a large number of apps and services through voice control only.

It can answer questions, control smart devices such as lights, televisions, and heating systems, and activate other apps and activities all at a spoken command.

First released in the US in November 2016, the devices have since been rolled out in countries around the world, including the UK in April 2017, from where Irish users have imported the device.

However, the device has yet to go on sale in Ireland and those hoping for good news from the Google I/O event were disappointed this week.

We’re bringing Google Home and Google Home Mini to seven new countries later this year: Denmark, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden,” said Scott Huffman, VP, Engineering, for Google Assistant, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

A Google spokesperson told the Irish Examiner the company is “always looking to bring Google Home to new countries” but could not discuss when it would be available in Ireland.

Amazon, Google’s main rival in the smart speaker market, last week announced its latest device is on sale in Ireland. The Amazon Echo Spot, a small speaker with a screen, was last week made available for sale here, joining the Echo and smaller Echo Dot devices.

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company could not reveal how many devices it had sold to date in Ireland but added: “Amazon sold tens of millions of Echo devices globally in 2017 alone.”

Another announcement from Google I/O is that the company is working on artificial intelligence technology that is able to make phone calls on behalf of users to confirm reservations and appointments.

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