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Smart Home Technology Poised for Blockbuster Growth

13 October 2018

This will be a much easier solution to sharing control of our smart home devices. Other than the sizable price difference, here are they things to consider.

The Home Hub has been initially launched in the USA priced $149 and the announcement coincides with Google revealing an updated version of its Pixel handset.

The Home Hub is tiny.

Local retail partners include the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Officeworks, with Google reportedly retaining exclusivity of the "Aqua" and "Sand" variants. Google's is a bit smaller though, with a seven-inch display where Lenovo's comes in eight and 10 inches. As expected, a number of these are having to do with Smart Displays, but there are some changes coming to Google Assistant on your phone as well. The display measures 7-inches, and features an Ambient EQ light sensor to adjust the display brightness according to the available light in the room.

We care more about how Google will show your content on this display and I am looking forward to trying that out. Google says it excluded a video camera because it wants users to feel "comfortable" with the Home Hub, but the absence of a camera will also save on the bill of materials. And once more the company looks to be playing catch-up with Amazon, whose Echo Show and Spot devices have been out for a while. This smart bulb uses Bluetooth LE to communicate directly with a Google Home Mini, using it as a smart home hub.

A few other features may influence your decision.

One reason why the Home Hub is cheaper than rivals is the lack of a camera. The Home Hub has no camera. Both Amazon and JBL are hitting the market at $349 - and we gather JBL has brought that down significantly from its original estimate, perhaps to match Amazon and get closer to Google's Home Hub, which will sell in Australia at an attractive $219.

A Home View dashboard allows users to see all connected devices and control lighting, temperature and whatever systems may be in the home.

If you buy and register before 31 December 2018, then you'll get six months of YouTube Premium for free. Google has designed the UI to look identical to that now found on the Lenovo and JBL devices, and the Cast platform may have been used to keep costs down. Here's our hands-on review of the Home Hub.

Interacting with the Google Assistant is a similar experience to other devices, but you don't just get a spoken response.

A bigger screen and better speakers come at a cost: the Google Home Hub is $149, $80 less than the $229 Echo Show.

The design of the Google Home app has largely been a mess.

Google has made a name for itself in the smart home market through Google Home, its smart artificial intelligence assistant.

Smart Home Technology Poised for Blockbuster Growth