Google Home Hub is smart display that lacks a camera

Google Home Hub

Yesterday's Google event was primarily about the launch of the new Pixel phones and Slate tablet, but there was much more announced. One of the more interesting products to be revealed was the Google Home Hub.

Ostensibly a smart display, Home Hub lacks something found on Facebook's Portal -- a camera; considering the leakiness of Google, this is probably no bad thing. But what does Google's latest addition to the growing selection of smart devices have to offer?

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The Google Home Hub is a 7-inch tablet mounted on a speaker that doubles as a base. The tablet is touch-friendly, but Google Assistant is also on-hand for voice-activated, touch-free use. And help is what the Home Hub is all about really. While it can be used to display photos and videos, it is primarily designed to help you to keep track of your schedule, to look up recipes in the kitchen, control music playback, check directions, and connect to other smart devices.

Writing about the device, Google says:

The first thing you'll notice about Google Home Hub is its beautiful design. We made this display to fit right into your home, and we hope you'll consider it not just functional, but part of your decor. The 7" screen is like a floating display, the right size to fit on any surface and big enough to enjoy your photos from across the room. With its soft rounded corners, Google Home Hub fits naturally on any surface. My favorite places are my kitchen counter and nightstand. With four colors to choose from -- Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua and Sand -- it's right for just about any room.

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. On the top of the device you'll find the Ambient EQ light sensor. It allows the screen to automatically adjust to match the lighting in the room, so photos on Google Home Hub will blend in with the room, too. That means no glowing screen -- it fits seamlessly into your home. When it's time for bed, Hub knows to dim the screen for a good night’s sleep.

Check out the video that shows off the Home Hub

Google Home Hub is available to pre-order now for $149 (or £139), and it will hit stores in the US, UK and Australia on October 22

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