Google on Tuesday launched a new version of its connected speaker with a touchscreen designed to be a hub for smart home devices but without a camera for privacy reasons.
The Google Home hub, competing with Amazon’s Echo Show, was unveiled at a media event in New York, where the tech giant also announced the upgrade of its Pixel 3 smartphone. a new tablet, called Pixel Slate. This is Google’s first smart home gadget, consisting largely of a touchscreen, after launching three different screen-less smart speakers in the last two years. The Home Hub is also part of Google’s overall strategy to make its virtual assistant infinitely more useful, but also to integrate its technologies into every aspect of your life.
The smart speaker will act as the hub of your “thoughtful home”, with a new app that connects all your smart home devices, announced Tuesday Diya Jolly, of Google. Called Home View, the app can control smart devices from a variety of companies and brands, including locks, security cameras, ambient temperatures, and lights.
The unit also features Ambient EQ technology, which changes the Home Hub display to reflect the time of day and room lighting. In addition, the speaker uses Google’s existing “voice recognition” technology, which allows Google Assistant to recognize each household member and personalize their answers.
“Because hub has recognized my voice, it has been able to tell me everything that’s going on in my day as I finish my coffee,” said Mark Spates, Google’s Product Manager for Smart Speakers. The new speaker, which will be sold for $149, is powered by Google’s smart digital assistant and designed “to know the state of the house” by connecting to other smart devices, said Diya Jolly, Vice – President of Google Product Management.
Jolly said the seven-inch Home Hub will allow users to access a “dashboard” that allows them to control several thousand devices or devices connected to the Internet. “You can lower the temperature in the room and increase the music in your living room” using the screen, said, Jolly.