Republic’s teaser page states a “Smart Assistant Built-in”. Will that be Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (kidding), Cortana (also kidding) and/or something home brewed remains to be seen.
I purchased a Google Home Mini on a whim because of Black Friday pricing. I’m not certain the whole connected speaker thing is something I see myself using long-term.
Google Home is not only limited to making calls, as far as I know it’s limited in terms of what it sends as Caller ID to Google Voice or Project Fi numbers. Given that limitation, it may not be spoofing Caller ID but that probably doesn’t matter much.
Amazon’s Echos do spoof the Caller ID of the number registered via the Alexa app. An optional home phone link called Echo Connect is due mid December but that’s an additional hardware purchase. Today, the Echos are similarly limited to outbound calling, though presumably that changes with Echo Connect. Otherwise, there wouldn’t seem to be any point to that device.
I expect Anywhere HQ will be a SIP device, meaning a full-fledged Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connection over either WiFi or cell data connection. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about that in and of itself. Over the top (OTT) softphone apps already do this. Hardware IP Phones exist as well, though typically they use ethernet wired connections. Analog telephone adapters (ATA) like Obihai’s devices connect to WiFi networks.
In my opinion, Anywhere HQ’s niche if it catches on is as part of the overall Anywhere ecosystem.