It’s time to hang the Google Assistant on your wall
New Nest Mini smart speaker leaks out hours before launch event
Google wants us all to hang its voice assistant on our walls, and the new Nest Mini smart speaker has a hook for doing just that.
A complete set of official-looking images published by WinFuture shows how the Nest Mini can be placed on a table or shelf, or hung on the wall. That way, the product's speaker and microphone are at more convenient height for interacting with the Google Assistant, whether you are sat down or stood up. With this, Google sees a future where you can casually ask the Assistant to adjust the heating, switch on the lights, or play music as you walk by.
We think this makes a great deal of sense, but fear that the power cable dangling down will put some buyers off from taking the wall-mounted approach. The images also appear to confirm that the speaker will once again miss out of a 3.5mm auxiliary socket, so there's no way to connect it to a larger speaker with such a connection, as you can with the equally small Amazon Echo Dot.
WinFuture claims the top of the Nest Mini is made from recycled plastic bottles, and the base is made of at least 35 percent recycled plastic. Color options for the Nest Mini, according to the report, will be anthracite, rock candy (light gray), coral and sky blue. The speaker is said to have Bluetooth 5.0, an upgrade from the Bluetooth 4.1 chip used by the Google Home Mini.
Nest Mini to likely cost in the region of $50WinFuture
The Nest Mini is claimed to have a 15-watt power supply. This could mean audio improvements over the less powerful nine-watt Home Mini, but the small size of the device will still likely mean a device best suited to radio and spoken word, rather than serving as your primary music speaker.
As we have said before, we believe the future of the smart home will see voice assistants fitted to the walls. But we believe this will mean Google Assistant and Alexa appearing in devices which are already on the walls of regular homes - in other words, light switches and thermostats. These are wired into the walls for a seamless look, while the Nest Mini is hung up like a picture, complete with its power cable hanging down to a wall outlet. As novel as this approach is from Google, we're not sure if it will take off, given the aesthetics of a cable hanging down.
Google is expected to formally reveal the Nest Mini at a hardware launch event later today, where it will also show off the new Pixel 4 smartphone. Aside from these products, we also expect to see a new laptop called the Pixelbook Go, and potentially a successor to the three-year-old Google Home smart speaker.