At Google I/O 2017 today, Google revealed that it was working with several new partners to release a handful of third-party, Google Assistant powered devices. One of the devices comes from one of Google’s Chinese partners — Mobvoi, in the form of the Tichome Mini.
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Mobvoi and Google have been working together for a while on Android Wear. Since Google’s services are blocked in China, Android Wear in that country relies on Mobvoi’s AI for searches. This year, Mobvoi made its way to the US with the Ticwatch 2 smartwatch, and later this year it will bring the Tichome Mini to the States.
We don’t have pricing details or a specific release date just yet, but the Tichome Mini will be running Google Assistant similar to Google Home. The device will be able to perform most of the same functions as Home, but in a completely different form factor. This device is a small puck with microphones and speakers, all in a compact size that is portable thanks to the strap on the outside.
It’s not confirmed yet, but I’d assume the Tichome Mini will be able to listen all the time when connected to power, like the Google Home, but will only respond to queries on its battery when a button is pushed. Battery life estimates and charging methods are also unknown at this time, but I’d expect both to line up pretty closely with Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Tap speaker, which has similar capabilities.