Screen-Equipped Google Home Hub Faces Final Pre-Release Hurdle

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In short: Google's Home Hub screen-enabled smart home speaker appeared in an FCC listing spotted by AndroidHeadlines earlier today. Specifically, the listing is for an 'interactive video streaming device' that features several connectivity options including Bluetooth Low Energy. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/n/ac protocols were also tested in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies in combination with Bluetooth. A DC adapter is shown for the power source and a label said to be situated on the bottom of the device shows identifies it as featuring the model number 'H1A.' Receiving certification from the FCC is the final hurdle the Google Home Hub needs to clear before being ready for a commercial release.

Background: All of that seems to match up with a new device in the Google Home family and more directly with a recently reported set of images purported to show an as-yet-unannounced screen-enhanced Google Home Hub. Historically, Google's Home-branded devices have also been listed with the same 'A4R' shown in the new listing and the other specifications shown seem to line up cleanly with those previous leaks. So, unless Google has plans to release a second-generation of its original Google Home, which may not make sense given the '1A' designation, this appears to be an entirely new device. Adding some weight to that, the shape of the device shown in that label diagram is remarkably similar to the base of the leaked Home Hub and the underside of the base is traditionally where Google places those labels.

The upcoming gadget is expected to be a direct competitor to Amazon's Alexa-enabled Echo Show and feature similar specs. Namely, it will reportedly bear a 7-inch display and be driven by a Google Assistant-enabled build of Android Thing. That would allow users to utilize the device as a central control point for their smart home integrations while the dual-wireless connectivity would allow for seamless video calling and streaming.

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Impact: If speculation surrounding that device bears out and the latest FCC listing does turn out to point to the Google Home Hub, the device will likely hit the market priced to undercut Amazon's listing. That wouldn't be too surprising, given the level of competition between the two companies in that sphere of the IoT market, but could give Google a way to start eating at Amazon's market share. As for availability, more information will almost certainly be revealed at the upcoming Google hardware event scheduled to take place on October 9 in Paris.