Monday , June 5 2023

Google Home 2 would benefit from Soli more than Pixel 4


We dropped the news that Pixel 4 will be sporting Google's long-in-the-making Soli patch project a few months ago, and well, we know how that turned out. In keeping with Google's recent habit of just throwing in the towel secrets, the company recently went ahead and confirmed it. It's funny to say the least, but I argued that a second-gen Google Home could make even more sense for Solio …

"Wait, is Google Home 2?" I can hear you asking through the screen. Yes. Well, maybe. I have three things for this speculation. The first is a report by Nikkei earlier this year that an "updated version" of Google Home would be coming this year (which, as we know, could be a reference to Nest Hub Max, I admit). The second is evidence of a probably new Home model found in the source code. And the third is just a simple feeling of "it's time" really from your gut.

So no, we still don't know if a sequel to the standard Google Home of 2016 will arrive at Made by Google 2019, but for the purposes of this piece, suppose it is.

If Google was bringing a refreshed Google Home to the table, assuming it will be located in the same segment of the market, would not surprise me to see a simple modernization of its exterior aesthetic. Same price, new look. Maybe a little better speakers. Maybe slightly improved microphones. It would be a refresher that we saw with Amazon Echo.

But perhaps one feature that Google could use to differentiate a new Google Home from its older sibling, not to mention Amazon's offerings, would be the same techie that Google has already confirmed is coming to the new smartphone logo:

While I'm still not convinced that putting your hand in front of a phone to change barriers will make use of a case for use, I think it's an absolute no-brainer for a new room without Google Home. Oh, I sometimes stand in the kitchen and need to change traces while eating my hands. And oh, how cool would it be to say "Okay Google" less than I do now (which is often enough that it feels like a borderline brain).

I've always argued that voice-controlled music in the kitchen is how 90% of people use these devices firsthand, so strengthening that key use case with a Soli chip would be an obvious victory. As good as it seems to recognize hand gestures, as the above web video makes the Soli chip, my brain just can't but can't imagine a fresh new look from Google Home in the frame instead of that Pixel 4. The only people change music that way. on Pixel 4 there will be Uber drivers and … people who have their phone plugged into the kitchen while they're cooking. Ahem.

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm basing the Soli chip on the Pixel 4. We still don't know half of what Google may be planning to use, and clearly, it's a new and unique approach to using the chip as a proxy. -conscious sensor in tandem with the face-based security arrangement. I said there is a possibility that it will be faster and more efficient than Apple's Face ID given this advantage.

That brings me to my end point and yet another way that I think Google Home 2 would serve a lot with a Soli chip. Voice proximity detection is one of my biggest (slight) complaints with the Google Home. If you have a multiple room, it can sometimes respond from the other side of the room even though you are standing right in front of the one you want to talk to. Just enough to be really annoying. A sun chip might feel as close as it does to a Pixel 4 face security we already know definitely one of the ways Google uses it.

Sure there are more use cases you could imagine here, but voiceless music control in the kitchen and the vocal proximity problems are solved by adding one simple, invisible chip, everything I would need to sell while buying Google Home 2. And how this teaser above, it would create some nice advertisements for a new, fresh look of such a device.

All of this is supposed to be a second-gen Google Home coming this year of course, but I bet it will. And if not this year, maybe it's in the pipeline by 2020.

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