Software Remains Central in New Google Home Devices

Google has announced the latest versions of its Google Home smart home hub.

Software Remains Central in New Google Home DevicesAt about the size of a donut, the Google Home Mini is premised on unobtrusiveness; the Google Home Max, meanwhile, features dual 4.5″ woofers, and Google says its audio broadcasting is 2o times more powerful than that of the original Google Home.

As with its newly-announced Google Pixel 2 smartphones, the key selling points of these new devices lie in their software. Both are equipped with Google Assistant, enabling voice-based interaction, and can be connected with over a thousand compatible smart home products. Users can also broadcast custom messages through all Google Home devices in a household, and, like the latest version of Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant, Google Assistant can combine multiple functions into a single command, such as playing a news report and turning on a connected coffee maker when a user says, “Hey Google, good morning.” Meanwhile, the Google Max has an AI-driven “Smart Sound” feature that allows it to dynamically change balance levels in the audio its playing depending on where the user is positioned in the room.

While the software is the star of the show, the new smart home devices represent Google’s intensifying effort in hardware, with the company recently having acquired a chunk of HTC as part of an expansionary effort in this area. Facebook is also reportedly planning a big step into hardware led by an Amazon Echo-like smart home device, suggesting that there’s going to be a lot of competition in the area of smart devices going forward.

Source: The Keyword