Google laid the groundwork for its own proprietary smart display in January when it announced its "Smart Display" software. At the time, the software was only intended to run on partner devices, but at today's "Made By Google" event, the company unveiled its first in-house smart display, aptly named the "Google Home Hub."
The Home Hub is a distinctly Google device in virtually every respect. The software is clean, concise, and obviously built around Google's Material Design philosophy. The device's physical qualities and exterior also scream "Google-made" with a mixture of white plastic and fabric covering the outside.
Google's own smart display offers quite a few interesting features. For starters, you have "personalized routines" that can help you get ready for your day in the morning and help you sleep at night. For example, by saying "Hey Google, good morning," the Home Hub could give you a full preview of the next 24 hours, informing you of upcoming meetings, events, and traffic delays. Alternatively, you could set the Home Hub to turn on your alarm, switch off the lights, and dim its screen when you say "Hey Google, good night."
Moving on, the Home Hub features a full suite of smart home controls. You can use your voice or your fingertips to control your home's smart TVs, thermostats, or light bulbs at will. The screen of the Home Hub also looks pretty darn good, though we don't know what its resolution is just yet; Google's website simply says it's 7".
Of course, a Google device wouldn't be complete without a solid Search function. Using your voice, you can ask the Home Hub just about anything you could type into Google. The device will give you "rich, visual" answers in response, and if you ask it to show you something -- the example Google gives is cutting a pineapple -- it can automatically pull up an appropriate YouTube video for you.
It's worth noting that the Home Hub does not feature a built-in camera, a move Google hopes will make users feel more comfortable putting the device in private areas, such as bathrooms or bedrooms.
The Home Hub has quite a few other features of note, and you can learn more about them on the device's official store page. For now, if the device sounds like your cup of tea, you can pre-order it for $149, or pick it up in person when it launches on October 22. The smart display comes in four different colors, including Google's iconic gray Chalk, as well as Charcoal, Aqua, and Sand.
Image courtesy Cnet