Watch out, Amazon Echo Show: Google today unveiled a new smart display called Google Home Hub.
Announced at the Made by Google event in New York City alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel Slate, Home Hub offers the power of Google Assistant combined with a 7-inch display for YouTube videos, photos, and more.
It’s priced at $149 and comes in four muted colors: “chalk,” “charcoal,” “aqua,” and a peachy “sand” tone. It’s available for pre-order now and slated to hit store shelves at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and other retailers on Oct. 22. Through December, Home Hub will come with six months of YouTube Premium.
Unlike the Echo Show and Facebook’s new Portal smart display, Home Hub does not have a camera. On stage, Google Home VP of Product Management Diya Jolly said the web giant “conciously” made the decision to not include a camera for the sake of privacy. In other words, you can place it in your bedroom without fear it might be secretly video recording your every move.
Google designed Home Hub to blend in with your home. A feature called Ambient EQ lets Home Hub automatically respond to the light in the room, so the screen shines brightly during the day and less so in the evening. At night, the screen automatically turns off.
With Google’s Voice Match technology, Home Hub can recognize who is speaking to it and provide a customized experience for that person. Google said that 85 percent of existing Google Home owners already use Voice Match.
Just say “Hey Google, good morning,” and Home Hub will show and tell you the temperature outside, how long it’ll take to get to work, remind you about any appointments you have scheduled that day, and go over your to-do list.
Google Product Manager Mark Spates called Home Hub the “best display made for the kitchen.” You can use your voice to set timers, ask how many ounces are in a cup, or pull up YouTube how-to videos.
Google says it has “optimized” the YouTube experience on Home Hub, letting you easily fetch content via voice, including music videos. Sick of the same playlist you listen to all the time? Just say, “Hey Google, play something brand new” to listen as you watch on screen.
With Home Hub, you can also set up, manage, and control smart home devices. Just swipe down from the screen to enter Home View, which shows the state of all your devices at a glance.
When it’s not in use, Home Hub serves as a photo frame, Jolly said. You can select any album in Google Photos that you’ve created or been given access to, and Home Hub will display those photos on the screen. You can also select certain people you want to see, and Home Hub will cycle through all the photos you have of them. This feature updates automatically to show your newest photos. If you give family members access to an album, any new photos you add to it can automatically show up on their Home Hub.