Google looking for partners in India for smart home devices launch

Signal of change / Google looking for partners in India for smart home devices launch

By Shola Powell / 18 Apr 2018

Google is currently in talks with Indian companies in order to integrate its voice assistant service with their products such as refrigerators, TVs, lights, etc. It is also in talks with Indian telecom providers to allow users to access billing details via voice commands. Since launching Google Home voice-assisted Bluetooth speakers, the company is now focused on partnering with mobile handset manufacturers in India.Rishi Chandra, Vice President - Product Management, and General Manager - Home Products, at Google, has stated that Google seeks to work with Indian manufacturing companies for a lot of smart home devices, such as voice-activated goods.

To challenge the reach of its competitor, Amazon, Google is partnering with the Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart to exclusively sell its Home and Mini Home speakers. The company will sell its products in over 750 retail stores such as Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales, and Croma.

So what?

Currently around 98% of all mobile phone owners in India use Android-based handsets, making the Indian market crucial for Google, as well as it being among the fastest-growing markets for Google Assistant. The tech company recently bought the AoG (Action on Google) Platform to India, allowing operates to offer voice-based support services for customers. India also has a lot to gain from this partnership. Not only will households have access to a wide range of voice-based services and voice integrated products, but Indian companies could profit from integrating Google’s voice assistant service into their products. 

Potential benefits of smart home devices include increased energy efficiency and enhanced capacity for domestic energy management, improved security, and greater access to healthcare and assisted living. 

Sources

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/google-looks-for-partners-in-india-to-launch-its-smart-home-devices-2546607.html

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/flipkart-signs-mou-with-asus-becomes-premier-channel-for-distributing-smartphones-by-asus/articleshow/63797911.cms

Chan et al., 2009; Nyborg and Røpke 2011

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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