Smart headphones lead Google's new hardware charge

Written by techgoth

Google is really planning on spoiling us with new products at the end of this year, if various reports are to be believed. At some point before the end of the year, follow-ups to last year’s Pixel phones are due – but alongside them, it looks like Google is planning not one, not two but three new product announcements.

Smart headphones (Aah, Bisto!)

First up: smart headphones. When breaking apart the 7.10 beta of the Google app, 9to5Google found references to smart headphones, codenamed Bisto

In the code, Bisto seems to refer to a set of headphones powered by Google Assistant, which would allow you to use voice controls to respond to notifications with your voice, without needing to get your phone out of your pocket. There’s not much else to glean from details scraped from the beta of an app, as you might expect, but there is a reference to a Google Assistant button on the left earcup, which suggests we’re talking about over-ear headphones, rather than earbuds.

Google Home shrinks down

Google Home competes directly with Amazon Echo, but there’s nothing to compare to the Echo Dot: Amazon’s dinky little plug-in to make your existing sound system smart. It looks like Google is taking the hint, and making a mini version of Google Home. Google Studio Apartment, if you will.

The news comes from “a source familiar with the company’s plans” who let the information slip to Android Police. No further details were given, but you’d imagine it would be like Echo Dot: in other words, it’s a Google Home without the speaker. Connect it to your existing sound system, and you can make more rooms in your house connected.

Chromebook is ChromeBACK

The Chromebook Pixel is a lovely laptop, but it’s a bit long in the tooth now, having not been revisited by the big G since 2015. The same source who tipped off Android Police to the existence of a mini Google Home is confident that the company will be announcing a follow-up to the Chromebook Pixel very soon.

Unfortunately, that’s all they have for now. If the 2015 original is anything to go by, you’re looking at a stylish looking premium rival to the MacBook and Surface – only it’ll run Chrome OS, which may be a dealbreaker for some.

We’ll have to see how many of these announcements emerge this year, but it looks like the formal reveal of the Pixel 2 may be more than just a couple of new handsets.

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