Google is believed to be working on a new device, similar to Amazon's Echo, which would work with its voice interaction and search technologies.
That in itself isn't news - indeed, we heard the same rumor just a few weeks ago. But now, Recode reports that the device is being developed under the codename 'Chirp' - although it's not yet clear if it will be launched under a different name - and that it's similar in design to one of Google's OnHub wireless routers.
Despite Google's marketing fluff claiming that the OnHub "speaks human", it doesn't actually offer voice interaction features - but Amazon's Echo does, through its Alexa digital assistant. Google is said to be keen to offer a similar product to capitalize on growing demand for voice-controlled smart home devices such as that offered by Amazon. Google already offers voice capabilities on Android, which can be activated hands-free, by saying 'OK Google'.
Such a device would also provide Google with new means to harvest data about its users, particularly if it offers similar functionality to Echo, giving it access to information on users' music tastes, shopping habits, and other general searches.
The device is not expected to launch until later this year, but Google may offer a preview at its I/O developer conference next week.