“I think that’s where the big question is: ‘How can I make this a perfect product?'” says Ben Krasner, CEO of home product startup HomePod.
“But then again, how many people have that experience?
How many people really want a product that makes them happy?
It’s like, ‘How do I get to that place?’
We have a very small team, and so we’re not going to get to the point where we have that great product.”
The answer: “We’ve got to make a product we can love,” says Krasne, who previously founded HomePod and founded a company called H2O Labs.
That’s because HomePod’s primary focus is making the most of Google Home’s built-in features, such as voice control, gesture control, and Google Assistant.
“We don’t want a device that’s just going to be a good product,” he says.
So the company will launch an all-new Google Home product in 2019.
It’s designed to do things like make home decor more intelligent, and will allow users to customize its interface and settings.
HomePod also plans to roll out its own version of the Home app, a companion app for the Google Home device.
And it plans to build a companion device to the Google Pixel line of devices.
“I have the Google phone, and I have the phone, I have Google home, I am a home consumer, so the Google home is a great device,” says Ben, who will head up HomePod from the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
“So, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
The company also has a plan to add new features to Google Home over time, like a “personal assistant” that can help you manage your home, and a Google home hub that allows you to manage all your Google Home devices in one place.
But it won’t be as easy as launching a product with a single product line.
“There’s a lot going on in the ecosystem and it’s a very large ecosystem,” says Brian Wieser, a senior product manager for Google Home.
“You’ve got multiple products, and you’ve got people that are going to want to be able to use that, and there’s also a lot more people that have never used Google products before.”
Wiesers says HomePod is “looking at what other people have done, and trying to make it better.”
The team has built its product from the ground up to make HomePod “truly personal,” he adds.
“It’s a product to make the home better, and it works best with people that want to use it to make their home better.”
HomePod says it plans on releasing its first product in 2020.
And that may be just how long it takes.
The HomePod team recently launched a new project called HomeSolo that aims to make home automation a big part of the home, but it’s far from done.
“Our goal is to be building a home that works for a lifetime,” says Wiesner.
“And we’re doing that through a lot smarter products that have been built by people that understand what the market wants, and then we build it that way.”
HomeSOLO is still in early development.
But the company is currently working on two more products that will help users “recreate and manage their homes more intuitively and efficiently,” says John Renn, vice president of product management at HomePod, in an interview with VentureBeat.
One is HomeBuddy, which allows users to “listen in on your entire home with Google Home,” and the other is HomeKit, a suite of home automation technologies that the company says it will be building in partnership with Google.
HomeBucket will be a product where users can “listens” to the entire home, including their favorite music, TV, and garage, and HomeKit will help the device “manage the entire house” by “tracking everything in your house from your TV to your car, to your kids.”
But HomePod isn’t the only company looking to make smart home products, says Chris Houghton, vice chairman of product marketing at HomeBuddys, in a phone interview.
“When you start thinking about it in terms of a consumer product, it’s really not the only way to do it,” he said.
HomeSpot, a company that uses the Nest thermostat and smart thermostats to help people automate their homes, is also exploring a smart home product.
HomeWatch, a wearable sensor that is worn by HomePod users, is the company “working on an ecosystem that’s built around HomePod that’s going to go far beyond HomePod,” says Houghtons senior product management director.
“The HomePod will be the platform for that.”
But for now, it will just be a “lifestyle product,” says Renn.
And while HomePod has “all the features”