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Tech giant Google creates ‘home’ on Bermondsey’s Tanner Street

You may have spotted this funny-looking building in Tanner Street, Bermondsey, earlier this week and wondered what on earth it was.

Well, we can now tell you it was in fact part of a Google publicity stunt to promote its new Google Home and Google Wi-Fi services which will arrive in the UK on April 6.

The Google building was only in Bermondsey for a handful of days – and unfortunately it wasn’t accessible to the public.

Google Home, which launched in the US in November, is a smart speaker and assistant which brings artificial intelligence into the home.

The firm is also launching its own Wi-Fi service in the UK, in an attempt to solve the “frustration when wireless connectivity fails at home”.

Like Amazon’s Echo, Home can answer basic queries, as well as control smart home devices, such as lights.

You could ask “where is the nearest petrol station?” and then follow up with “when does it close?”.

With a simple voice command, you can play songs, playlists, artists and albums from Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and live radio.

It can also help with translations, offer weather and traffic updates and deliver news updates from publications such as the BBC, the Guardian and the Financial Times. (Although it was unclear at the time of going to press whether you could get your latest Southwark News updates).

“A combination of our natural language processing, machine learning and voice-recognition expertise allow users to interact naturally with the assistant,” said Suveer Kothari, director of product planning at Google in a blog post.

“And of course, we’ve hidden a few British treats for you to discover. Just try asking Google Home about its hobbies or favourite foods.”


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