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Essential Home is an Amazon Echo Competitor That Takes Privacy Seriously

May 30, 2017

The Essential Home is a new intelligent assistant speaker with a round display just announced by Android founder Andy Ruben. It can be activated in a variety of ways including via voice, a tap, or even a “glance” according to the company. What’s even more interesting is that the company and Ruben himself are touting the privacy element of this product.

Essential Home

Essential Home

Like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo, the Essential Home lets you control your music, ask general questions, set timers and even do things such as control your home appliances.

The Essential Home runs an operating system called “Ambient OS”, though there is little details on what that is exactly. There are some nice renders showing what the device is supposed to be, but we’ve yet to see any real videos or product shots and there’s no word on how much or when this device will ship. All we know now is that it’s suppose to be a home device like the Echo or and Google Home and that it will try to alert you of contextually relevant info throughout the day.

The company told Wired that they have built a system that works with Samsung’s SmarthThings, Apple’s HomeKit, and Nest and “the rest” which includes Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Last, but certainly not least, the company says most of the processing will happen locally on the device and not in the cloud for privacy reasons.

We’ll know later tonight when founder Andy Rueben takes the stage at the Code Conference, which you’ll be able to watch live below.