At Google’s official launch in San Francisco at 9:00 PST (17:00 BST), the firm is expected to launch a personal-assistant for the home, alongside the new Pixel phone.
The device, called ‘Home’, is an internet-connected device, similar to Amazon’s Echo speaker and was first unveiled in May.
While Google has declined to confirm any specifics, analysts and industry blogs have suggested that a new virtual reality headset and a home router could also be unveiled.
The device, called ‘Home’, is an internet-connected speaker, similar to Amazon’s Echo, and was first unveiled in May.
Analysts are expecting Google will announce more details, including price and availability, at today’s event.
The ‘Home’ device will feature Google’s digital ‘Assistant’ service, a voice-activated personal butler that can search the internet, play music or perform other useful tasks.
Users will be able to simply talk to the speaker, telling it what to do or asking it questions in normal English.
The gadget is also a high quality speaker, Google claimed at the unveiling in May, allowing users to play back music from online services of a phone.
It can also control other speakers, forming a voice controlled multi room hifi system, and control other devices such as lights and Google’s Nest thermostat.
‘Assistant’ is the company’s answer to similar concierge services from rivals, including Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
At the unveiling of Home in May, Google boss Sundar Pichai said: ‘We think of the assistant as an ambient experience that goes across devices – this is more than just phones, it will be on devices they wear, in their car and in their living rooms.’
The leading tech companies are all competing to assist consumers in their online activities such as shopping, since that gives the companies a better chance of selling advertising or other services.
Home-based systems like the Echo are taking on more importance with the advent of improved voice technology, according to Julie Ask, an analyst at Forrester Research.
You can’t assume somebody is going to go sit down at a computer or pick up a phone and type in a question anymore,’ she said.
Most of Google’s income comes from online software and digital advertisements, but the firm is starting to put more emphasis on hardware as it faces rivals like Apple, Amazon and Samsung.
New devices could help Google keep its services front and centre in the battle for consumers’ attention, said Ms Ask.
Unlike a new mobile app or other software, she noted, it can be an expensive gamble to build and ship new hardware products.
But she added: ‘If you’re Google, you can’t afford to stop placing bets.’
Google already sells smartphones and tablets under the Nexus brand, which it launched in 2010 as a way to show off the best features of its Android software.