Google’s Home Hub is Missing a Camera. Here’s Why That’s a Smart Idea

At Tuesday’s Google event, the company unveiled the extensively leaked Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, in addition to both a new ChromeOS tablet, the Pixel Slate, and a new smart home assistant in the form of Google Home Hub. While Google’s made smartphones and tablets in the past, the Home Hub is the first Google Assistant-powered device from the company that incorporates its “smart display” functionality, providing users with a touchscreen that lets users interact with their home in addition to using voice control. It’s also one of the few smart home hubs with a display that’s missing an integrated camera. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a flaw or a feature.

At first glance, the $149 Home Hub looks oddly traditional. Available on Oct. 22 in four colors, it’s essentially a 7-inch tablet fused to a small fabric-covered speaker that can do everything your Google Home can, and a bit more thanks to its touchscreen display. That means you can, without voice commands, swipe and tap at it to control your home’s smart devices, check the weather, and see your commute. With voice commands, you can ask Google to walk you through recipes, make audio-only calls, play YouTube videos while you cook, and take a peek at what your security camera sees when someone’s at the door. That screen gives Google Assistant another way to relay information to you, one that doesn’t require you to be constantly barking commands. It’s a welcome addition.

The missing camera? Well, depending on who you ask, it’s a feature, not a bug.

“We consciously decided to not include a camera on Google Home Hub so you feel comfortable placing it in the private spaces of your home, like the bedroom,” says Google Home Product Management VP Diya Jolly. The thought …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


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