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Google AI

Google Sold 6.75 Million 'Google Home' Devices In the Last 80 Days (techcrunch.com) 96

An anonymous reader quotes TechCrunch: Google today announced that it sold "tens of millions of Google devices for the home" over the course of the last year and that it sold "more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October," with roughly 6.75 million seconds since October 19 (the day the Home Mini officially went on sale)... The launch of the Google Home Mini, which you could easily buy for $29 (and occasionally for $19 with store credit) gave the company a low-price competitor to Amazon's Echo Dots, and even though it's doubtful that Google made a lot of money of these sales, the move clearly paid off.
The Verge adds: Google is thought to be losing money on every unit of the Home Mini; Reuters reported on one analysis that pegged the device's parts alone at $26, not including the cost of developing the entire thing, supporting it, advertising it, shipping it, and so on. Of course, Google is in this for the long game -- the Assistant is an attempt to make sure Google remains the way people get information, and Google has plenty of options to make money through ads or the data it collects in the future...

Amazon is also believed to be losing money on the Echo Dot, which was similarly cut to $29 during the holiday season. Amazon never gives out specific sales figures, but it did say that "tens of millions" of its own Alexa-enabled devices were sold over the holidays, with the Echo Dot being one of the top sellers... These super cheap prices are getting people to buy smart speakers and commit to an ecosystem. These companies are clearly happy to spend a few dollars gaining customers in the short term so that they have an enormous audience available to them down the road.

Google Sold 6.75 Million 'Google Home' Devices In the Last 80 Days

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  • How long before we have the first death attributed to a hacked "smart home" device? I'm thinking the over/under is about August 1, 2018.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      How? Causing a home fire? Freezing someone to death in August? The WiFi router picks up a gun and shoots someone?
      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Cancelling prescriptions?
        Causing epileptic attacks through blinking lights?
        Recording one partner having an affair, then playing it back later when the other partner is home?
        Calling 911 for a swat team?

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          Cancelling prescriptions?

          So? You go to pick up your prescription epi-pen, needed to save your life in case of a bee sting. Oops, the prescription is canceled. So you wait 5 minutes to get it filled.

          How is that life threatening?

          Causing epileptic attacks through blinking lights?

          "home" automation doesn't apply to the car. So, what, they'll be flashing billions of lights in the hope that they can cause one epileptic person to fall in the shower? Not to mention that such an attack could have no effect on 99% of the population, so it's a pretty poor attack that would be found out

          • Not sure why you're defending this. It's only a matter of time before something stupid is wired in, and abused. Already, there's this idea of an amazon thing that lets delivery guys - and any decent hackers - into your house. Some idiot will do the moral equivalent of putting what should be internal sub-functions out in the cloud to save money - along the lines of (but no one will do this actual example of course) the pilot light and safety vs the main gas valve on your heater. Turn on the gas, then ligh
            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

              Not sure why you're defending this.

              I'm defending the truth. Home automation doesn't allow for any of that. It will be impossible by August 2018 to disable the pilot light to make if flame out. Currently, the home automation controls the thermostat and such as if you were home, and there's almost nothing you can do that isn't what you are restricted to in the regular controls. The IoT refrigerators keep inventory and allow for minor temperature changes. The IoT thermostats allow you to control a thermostat, not the furnace itself. There

              • And clearly all this stuff is made in countries that assiduously follow all US regulations, real or imaginary, and always default to the safer alternative in fully researched edge cases of every possible interaction. Yeah, right. For someone with a low ID#, you sure don't seem to have been around the block much.
        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          With enough home automation and internet connected nonsense and some hacking we should be able to devise ways to start fires. Overload an electric car charging system, or remotely operate a stove or oven or furnace, or other system. Lots of these devices are designed to fail safely, but with internet connectivity and computer controls and not being designed to cope with malicious deliberate hacking attempts I'm sure there's stuff out there that you could reprogram to fail badly.

          And just think of the gas lig

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          How about, burning up advertising dollars because the cheapest product is aimed at the poorest people because that is all that they can afford. Advertising high end, at high cost, too people who can't afford it, for no sales, kind of doesn't make sense. Unless of course your advertising product is not targeted at consumers but at advertisers, convince them that it works and they will pay. So the only question for advertisers, do you have one in your home, why not and are the customers you are looking for mo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, 2018 @01:44PM (#55881049)

    People are now considering folks who don't have a facebook account as being weird. I actually got rejected for a job because I don't have a LinkedIN account (They said they do ALL of their recruiting on LinkedIN and didn't want my resume when I handed it to them.)

    And now this.

    Google is not a tech company. They are an advertising company - like facebook and Yahoo!. They can make all their money in advertising because they have all this data on us.

    The very nature of their business is evil.

    Every single company I mentioned and more make their obscene amounts of profits by spying on us. And all of those 10s of millions who got the device are all idiots. So are all those sheeple who bought Alexa.

    THe two-way TV are coming .... I love Big Brother.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      THe two-way TV are coming

      I thik it's already here.

      On three separate occasions, youtube showed me an ad for something that my girlfriend an I were discussing a few minutes earlier. And this was for things that had never been searched for or viewed in anyway. The ad came completely out of left field.

      Eg, I was saying that I should get up on the roof and clean out the gutter (again,never discussed prior to this or searched for because it is something that doesn't take me long and I don't mind doing. I only thought of it because it was

    • by DMelchisedecian ( 5197489 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @02:59PM (#55881347)
      " I actually got rejected for a job because I don't have a LinkedIN account (They said they do ALL of their recruiting on LinkedIN and didn't want my resume when I handed it to them.)"

      Maybe that is a good thing - you probably wouldn't want to be working with such a stupid thinking lot?
      • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @04:38PM (#55881749) Journal
        For a lot of people - about a third to a half of the US population, and the vast majority worldwide - it's less about "where do I want to work" and more about "where I am able/allowed to work". Many of the available options are stacked with stupids from top to bottom - you might be waiting until you starve to find a place without stupid people somewhere... either in HR, in management, in the trenches, or all three. And you can't discern the full extent of the stupid before you're on the inside.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The solution is create a LinkedIN resume, a fake account to make you look good and nothing more, watch out for existing employers, a LinkedIN account should be considered a sign of intending to quit, ie why did you not deactivate you LinkedIN account, your fired before you can steal our ideas and quit. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      • Maybe that is a good thing - you probably wouldn't want to be working with such a stupid thinking lot?

        Depends on who is doing the stupid thinking. Quite often there are plenty of wonderful places to work at with some of the dumbest mouth breathing droolers in existence working in the HR front line. I personally have had fights with our HR department about how they have handled positions opened in my team and how they cut their candidate pool. In one case a former acquaintance who was an absolute genius / guru was disqualified by some automatic form because they system didn't understand that not every degree

    • A common misperception is that money from profiling is mostly made form advertising. An FCC report from 2015 points out that most money is made from 'risk management'. So the bigger picture is that your data is used to create detailed profiles about you which are bought by your bank, insurers, employers and politicians. https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-87... [media.ccc.de]
  • Google is thought to be losing money on every unit ...[but]... Google has plenty of options to make money through ... the data it collects ...

    Yes, Google has plenty of options. Selling it to the government is a great one. Julian Assange made a credible argument that Google is likely essentially a government department or so much in the back pocket of the US government that it might as well be. While I don't find Mr. Assange to be the most wholy credible person alive, the arguments were cogent and well re

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      It was explained two decades ago; governments aren't allowed to collect and hold data on people due to fears of Big Brother - it would be political suicide for any party to try and implement any national databases in this way.

      However, if the private sector does this under the guise of advertising analytics, they can then offer supply contracts to the government to provide the exact same information with the added benefit of subsidizing the collection of this data through commercial services.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @01:49PM (#55881075)

    Google found 6.75 Million dumbasses who paid money for a spying device and brought it inside their own home.

    FTFY

  • Who is fooling who? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @01:59PM (#55881119)

    "more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October," with roughly 6.75 million seconds since October 19 (the day the Home Mini officially went on sale)...

    With my grade 4 math, it doesn't appear to me that 6.75 million should be read as "...tens of millions..." or does it?

    Slashdot editors: I have noted you've been "slacking off" lately. Please step up your [Editorial] game.

    • The bit quoted in the summary (quoted from TechCrunch so don't blame slashdot editors for once) is written terribly. But:
      • The Google Home Mini went on sale on October 19.
      • Since October 19 (6.75 million seconds), Google has sold more than one Google Home device (Mini or not) per second.
      • The original Google Home went on sale in November 2016.
      • Sum total of Google Home devices sold in 2017 (Google Home since January, Google Home Mini since October) is tens of millions (which likely just means over 10 million)
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Slashdot editors: I have noted you've been "slacking off" lately. Please step up your [Editorial] game.

      You must be new here.

  • It feels like 96% (non geeks, non disabled) of people would use these type of devices for about a week ot two at most and then it will sit idle. If homes were fully automated then some people may use it routinely if they could make it past the hump of getting used to it.

    • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @02:11PM (#55881151)

      I notice how my hostility to Google increased in the last months and years, I haven't even bothered to find out what exactly Google home is, I have already decided I don't want it, I don't want Google in my house beyond the necessary minimum. This is different from how I looked at Google 5+ years ago.

      I wonder how many geeks and non geeks have a similar reaction.

      • I haven't even bothered to find out what exactly Google home is, I have already decided...
        snip...
        I wonder how many geeks and non geeks have a similar reaction.

        More and more. Over are the days of using our brains. We now live in a world of headlines and soundbites. There's no more grey, no more thinking, just black and white, or red and blue. Since it's trendy to hate Google because of their size every single thing they have and do must therefore be bad.

        *Note this post is not a reflection of what I think of Google Home. That shit can go to hell. But rather this is a reflection of the world we now live in.

        • More and more. Over are the days of using our brains. We now live in a world of headlines and soundbites. There's no more grey, no more thinking, just black and white, or red and blue. Since it's trendy to hate Google because of their size every single thing they have and do must therefore be bad.

          *Note this post is not a reflection of what I think of Google Home. That shit can go to hell. But rather this is a reflection of the world we now live in.

          I don't buy into your alarmism because intellectuals have been singing this same song for thousands of years now. I think we sometimes fail to realize most of humanity never engaged in any critical thinking beyond headlines and sound bites to begin with. Homo sapiens living or contemplating the lives Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, Hawking, or the like have always been in the extreme minority.

          That being said, these things just like every other technology, they're nothing more than tools. Even the cost of

          • I think we sometimes fail to realize most of humanity never engaged in any critical thinking beyond headlines and sound bites to begin with.

            And I will continue to call them out for doing so as an attempt to not aim for mediocrity.

            • Words of encouragement are always a beautiful thing!!! I just had to call out the overuse of the cliche regarding "things used to be better" theme. I couldn't help it, it's become a trigger for me. But just because I think things have never been better certainly doesn't mean I think things couldn't be better. Go, continue doing God's work!
      • I can't believe anyone wants ANY cloud connected device in their homes. Why would I ask an outside company for permission to change a setting on a thermostat, or light, or alarm system or camera? That is exactly like buying a home and the real estate agent keeping the key and letting you inside only when they are satisifed... while also saying how you can arrange your furniture.. and periodically repainting without even asking you what you wanted. Also usually with the added "benefit" of locking rooms of th

        • by Mascot ( 120795 )

          Why would I ask an outside company for permission to change a setting on a thermostat, or light, or alarm system or camera?

          While that is how some connected devices work (well, sort of, "ask for permission" is hyperbolic phrasing), it's not by any means all of them. Case in point, my Philips Hue lights work just fine without an internet connection. I can't use Google Home to control them while offline, and I obviously can't use the app outside my LAN in such a case, but while at home both switches and app work fine.

          In other words, I dispute your claim of it being exactly like buying a home and having to ask for the real estate a

      • Your instincts are good, perhaps bolstered by other related news articles. Even if Google isn't outright using these as surveillance devices in people's homes, it's been proven by security researchers that they can be easily leveraged into being surveillance devices, listening (and watching, in the case of those with cameras) 24/7.

        Several years ago I used to pose a theoretical scenario to people where they'd have cameras and microphones watching and listening in on them in their homes. "Why would anyone
      • There was some research about that on slashdot recently:

        "Nearly 40% of those who participated in the survey said they were concerned about connected-home devices tracking their usage. More than 40% said they were worried that such gadgets would expose too much about their daily lives. Meanwhile, the vast majority of consumers think gadget makers weren't doing a good job of telling them about security risks. Fewer than 20% of survey respondents said they were very well informed about such risks and almost
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        With me it started when they raped DejaNews.

    • I got one for Christmas. I use it to play music, and thats about it. So far I can't see myself using it for anything else yet. The big one I wanted it to do it can't do without using a 3rd party app which is to send messages. If I was able to "ok google, send message to X" on it that would be excellent.

      • I got a freebie Home Mini with my new phone. I told it to play "KUSC" but it insists on playing "KUNC" -- different kind of music. It's easier just to cast to it from my phone than to make it understand my voice.
  • by drewsup ( 990717 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @02:34PM (#55881217)

    Get your free in home spies here, oh wait, did we say free, actually that will 80 bucks for your in home spy, yes ma'am, the queue starts over there.

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Sunday January 07, 2018 @02:38PM (#55881243)

    ...born every day

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a clear example of using their dominance in other markets to gain an unfair advantage, ability to lose to money to drive the competition out, to gain market share.

  • Well, I got both as a present, so at least I won't be trapped in only one ecosystem.

  • It seems that they use the same trick Apple used to report their stupidly high sales after the release day. Apple simply account their sales all directly after release week to make an impression that batches with lead times as far away as 6 month look to be sold immediately following the release.

    THOSE ARE NOT retail sales. They try to pretend to be bigger than they are, just like Apple did to hype their image

  • I got one free when I bought a Nest E thermostat last week. Two podcasts I listen to have advertisements for products that also would be incentivized with a free Google Home. I suspect tons of these "sold" numbers are free promotional bundles.
  • In early December my 3 carbon monoxide detectors expired. I have a Nest thermostat so I decided to get 3 Nest CO alarms. There was a promo, buy any Nest product get a free Home Mini. I have no interest in the product, so I gave all 3 as Christmas gifts.

    So far, one is up and running and I'm not sure if the other two will ever actually be connected.
  • I'm 99% sure "Google devices for the home" include the heavily discounted, old-gen Chromecast or the Chromecast Audio, which don't have the smart features everyone reading these headlines will immediately relate "devices for the home" to. You simply can't use a Chromecast as an assistant, or at least not as the same type of assistant the Echo or Google Home Mini.

    And Chromecasts have added funcitonality (Video/High-quality Audio Streaming support) that most, or even all of the assistant devices DO NOT have,

  • When I purchased my Pixel 2 XL, I was given a free Google Home Mini. Are these free Home Mini's counted in these figures? How many were free as opposed to actually sold?

The cost of feathers has risen, even down is up!

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