It's hardly a secret that Amazon's Echo family of speech-enabled devices is a surefire hit.
In the run-up to Amazon's Prime Day of deals on July 10, a rival is making moves.
Google is offering its competing Google Home device paired with its popular Chromecast for $99 on eBay—down from the $164 the bundle would usually cost. (Google Home usually retails for $129; Chromecast, $25.)
There are a limited number of them available, and they're moving fast—300 in the last hour alone.
Home is powered by Google's plainly named Assistant, much in the same way that Amazon's Echo is powered by speech-enabled assistant Alexa. You can use both devices to look up information without using your hands, from news to trivia to calendar appointments, as well as play music and set reminders and alarms. Reviewers claim that Google's device is more useful to look up information, while Amazon's device demonstrates a particular talent for buying goods. (On Amazon.com, naturally.)
Amazon's Echo, of course, established the category. Now a number of competitors are entering the fray: Apple has announced its music-centric HomePod, available in August; Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Baidu have also introduced so-called smart home devices in recent weeks, with Korea's Samsung not far behind.
Amazon has made it clear that it hopes Prime Day becomes a mid-summer Black Friday, still the biggest shopping day of the year. Though Amazon's event is limited to members of its Prime subscription program, competing offers like Google's will only help develop that reality. After all, a rising retail tide lifts all boats.
CORRECTION: The original version of this incorrectly stated the date of this year's Prime Day.