Google Chirp is coming later this year, and it's got designs on artificial intelligence smart home dominion...

Update: It’s now confirmed as Google Home.

While Amazon has been rolling out the updates to AI assistant Alexa’s motley crew of voice-controlled gadgets at breakneck speed lately, Google has been in the lab cooking up “Google Chirp” – its own answer to the artificial intelligence-controlled smart home.

According to sources at Recode, a product team at Google has been – and still is – working on a rival Amazon Echo hub codenamed “Chirp”. Sources said it’s unlikely to land in time for the Google I/O event next week, but there are plans for a launch at “some point this year”.

Chirp will closely resemble Google’s wireless router, the OnHub, but will throw in Google’s search and voice assistant tech, OK Google. Google declined to comment, but there will likely be at least a sneak peak of the device at its I/O event.

Google OnHub

Google’s mysterious “Chirp” hub will look a lot like the OnHub WiFi router.

While it’s clearly serious competition for smart home favourite, Amazon Echo, Google has a lot to catch up on if it wants to knock Alexa off the throne. Notable updates to her skill-set of late include the ability to do your online banking for you, search for flights through Kayak, control Lutron smart lighting, and update your Google calendar.

Alexa is such hot property that we’re even starting to see independent gadgets and apps emerging with the sole purpose of channeling her dulcet tones, such as the Lexi app, and a smartwatch called the CoWatch.