Google May Have Just Kicked Smart Homes Into The Mainstream

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Google Home Hub is the latest member of Google's popular smart speaker family. At first glance, it looks like a Google Home with an LCD bolted on top - which seems pretty superfluous, given you can use existng Homes to stream video to TVs.

However, it turns out that the main selling point isn't video streaming at all. (The key is in the product's name.) In short, it will act as the central hub for all your smart home devices, allowing you to control them at a glance.

One of the chief stumbling blocks of a fully integrated smart home is all the separate apps you need to juggle. The Google Home Hub is looking to simplify this process by putting everything in one place:

Powered by a revamped version of the Google Home app and with Google Assistant built in, the Home Hub acts as a control centre for your smart home. You can ask it to turn on your lights, lock doors, show the weather, list your day's schedule and tons more, with the display providing related visual information and navigation options.

But the main claim to fame is the ability to see and control all smart devices in a single view. (In other words, no more switching between apps.) The Hub is compatible with an astonishing array of apps and gadgets - according to Google, it works with more than 5000 smart devices from over 400 brands. You can check out a full list here.

Setting up the Home Hub and linking smart devices has been made as simple as possible. To get started, users simply need to download the Google Home app and follow the setup instructions.

According to Google, the Home Hub is also the best digital picture frame ever. (Does anyone still use those things? Anyone at all?) Naturally, you can also use it to surf the web and watch video via a range of compatible streaming platforms.

Here are the specs:

Specifications

Display 177.8 mm (7 in) LCD touch screen
Speaker Full range (80 dB SPL @ 1KHz, @ 1m)
Sensors Light sensor
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Power 15 W adaptor
Available Colours Sand, Aqua, Chalk, Charcoal

And here is is in action:

Home Hub is available for pre-order from today. Is will set you back a reasonable $219. It also comes bundled with six months of YouTube Premium.


Comments

    But does it really work as a home automation hub? I man, does it support Z-wave and/or zigbee? Or do you still have to connect it up with the real hub of your home automation setup?

    Last edited 10/10/18 8:56 am

    Not going to really be an automation device until it has its own RF & IR senders so it can actually control devices

    Yes, people still use digital picture frames. I am in IT, and I have one in our living area, Our programmer has one, and my parents have one. Get with it Chris... especially if you are reviewing IT devices.

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