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Google’s Amazon Echo rival to be announced today

Google will reportedly launch an Amazon Echo rival at Google I/O later today, and we now have a name.

Amazon’s Echo speaker and its Alexa personal assistant are all over the news at the moment. As we learned recently, the the Echo has sold around 3 million units in the US alone, and Amazon’s rivals understandably want a piece of the pie.

We’ve heard several reports concerning a Google response to the Amazon Echo in recent months. Last week it was claimed the project was operating under the code-name ‘Chirp,’ and that it wouldn’t be ready until later in the year.

Now the New York Times has issued a few new details on the matter. It describes the device as “a virtual agent that answers simple questions and carries out basic tasks,” which is pretty vague.

More useful is the news that the device will be called Google Home, and that it will be announced at Google I/O when it kicks off later today. The report confirms that the Google Home won’t be ready until later in the year, pinning it down to an autumn release.

Related: Google I/O 2016: What to expect

However, with Amazon having grabbed the initiative with the Echo a year ago, and with every major tech company worth its salt investing in personal assistant software, Google really needs to show its hand.

Besides Google Home, we’re expecting Google I/O to carry details on Android N, a new Nexus 7, Project Tango, and Google’s exciting new Android VR headset.

Next, take a look at what’s coming up in Android N:

What would you like to see from a Google home speaker? Let us know in the comments.

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