Google Home and Google Wifi are set to launch Down Under this Thursday. Both will retail for AUD199 ($157) and be available to purchase from multiple outlets, including The Google Store itself. Google has even modified the Google Assistant so it can understand the Aussie dialect and slang. The company took this challenge seriously, according to Google Home product manager Raunaq Shah. “We hired a team of writers to include all of the exclusively Australian words we wanted the system to recognize, while adding some unique Aussie flavor to the responses. It’s so exciting to release a product that looks, sounds and feels Australian,” Shah told news.com.au. Google also created custom Easter eggs for the Australian market. For instance, Australian users can ask “OK Google, what does a kookaburra sound like?”
A Global Voice Assistant
Once again, Google Home is beating the Amazon Echo to a new international market. Google announced at its I/O conference this year that it would launch in six new countries by the end of the summer. It has made good on its promise to launch in Canada and now, Australia. Earlier this spring Amazon announced it was in the planning stage of bringing a retail offering to the land down under, but no specifics were given or if these plans also included launching the Amazon Echo.
Google has shown great prowess at launching Google Home globally, no small feat when you consider that it’s about more than being able to speak the language, it’s about being able to assimilate into the country’s culture. Yes, Google Home can speak English but the difference between how American, the Brits and the Aussies speak the language is vastly different. The Google Assistant also has to be a helpful expert on topics that matter to each particular country. For instance, football in the US means something different than in UK and Australia. It’s a complicated process, and if the Australian version of Google Assistant is any indication, Google is focused on creating a quality voice assistant for each new international market, which could make it difficult for consumers to switch over to Amazon’s Alexa when and if she arrives.