Google Shares Image of Upcoming Nest Smart Speaker After Accidental FCC Filing Reveal
Google shared out a high-quality image and short video of the next-generation Nest smart speaker after grainy pictures of the device in a Federal Communications Commission filing started spreading. Neither contains much information about the smart speaker, but they confirm that the smart speaker is coming as a replacement for the discontinued Google Home.
The smart speaker, code-named “Prince,” shifts away from that sliced cylinder look of the Google Home in favor of a rounded rectangle. Instead of the shiny plastic finish of its predecessor, the new smart speaker is covered in fabric, with several color options visible in the very short video, albeit with the four dots of Google smart devices visible on the side. In other words, the new smart speaker meshes well with the style of the Google Nest Hub Max, Mini, and Hub devices.
The design is notably subtle, blending into the background almost entirely in the teaser video, thanks to the color options for the fabric. In the regulatory filing, the device is described as 21 centimeters or a little over eight inches high, with a microphone switch and power plug next to the Google logo on the back of the smart speaker. The video also shows multiple speakers set up like a stereo system, something the Google Home Max originally offered. As the new smart speakers are smaller, this suggests that Google beefed up the audio power from the original Google Home and wants people to treat the devices like a Sonos or Bose stereo system. Google has yet to mention a price, but it’s reasonable to think it will cost less than the $229 Google Nest Max smart display, but unclear how much less. There’s no official arrival date either. The smart speaker may have been scheduled to come out this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of product release dates uncertain.
Combined with the discontinuation of the original Google Home, the new smart speaker marks the true culmination of Google’s Nest rebrand for smart home devices. Google is very focused on the smart home market, as it made clear during the recent “Hey Google” Smart Home Virtual Summit. The company discussed how it is building up easier access to Google Assistant on more smart home devices while upping the complexity of tasks the voice assistant can complete. The new smart speaker will probably have more memory and processing power than the earlier iteration. That will be important for handling some of the recent and upcoming Google Assistant enhancements including native support for more sensors and the new setup process for Voice Match that makes it more secure ahead of allowing purchases to be made with Voice Match.