Google announces donut-sized Google Home speaker


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It’s Google’s turn to announce some new hardware.

The company is showing off its latest gadgets at a press event in San Francisco, including two new smart speakers.

The first product unveiled on Wednesday was a tiny-sized version of its Google Home speaker. Called the Google Home Mini — which Google (GOOG) said is smaller than a donut — is a rounded disk covered in the hottest new technology material: fabric.

It has the same powers as the full-sized Google Home, like voice recognition and the usual smart home and calling powers. There are four LED lights on top and it plugs into the wall.

The device, which comes in grey, dark grey and coral, will cost $49 and be available October 19.

It’s Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot.

Google is also releasing a direct competitor to Apple’s forthcoming HomePod. The Google Home Max ($399) is a higher-end speaker with its built-in Google Assistant technology. The device, available in light or dark grey, includes a feature called Smart Sound, which allows you to adjust the audio based on the surrounding environment. Two Max speakers will play music in stereo.

The device will launch in December and include a free 12-month subscription to YouTube Red, the video service’s subscription option.

Google is also expected to unveil the latest Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL phones, the latest Daydream VR headset and a Chromebook.

Tech companies such as Apple and Google tend to announce their newest products this time of year, ahead of the holiday shopping season. This year’s big tech trends include smart speakers, home security, and of course, smartphones.

Related: First look at Apple Park, Steve Jobs’ dream campus

Sundar Pichai opened up the event with a nod to recent events — the shooting in Las Vegas and multiple hurricanes.

“It’s been hard to see the suffering, but I’ve been moved and inspired by the everyday heroism,” said Pichai.

He mentioned how people have opened their homes up to victims and called out the help from first responders.

“We are working closely with many relief agencies in affected areas and are committed to doing our part,” said Pichai.

Pichai transitioned to discuss Google’s AI and machine learning advancements and their impact on the company’s products. For example, the company processes more than 2 billion translations every day.

We are reporting live from the event and will update with photos and details as they are announced.

CNNMoney (New York) First published October 4, 2017: 12:41 PM ET


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