Google's hardware announcements at its I/O developer conference today weren't all about phones. The company also unveiled the previously leaked Nest Hub Max, a bigger smart display than the Google Home Hub which it launched last year. To make things more logical, that device will be known from now on as the Nest Hub.
The new Nest Hub Max is, as its name implies, bigger. It comes with a 10-inch 1,280x800 touchscreen, a 6.5 MP camera with a 127-degree field of view and auto-framing, a speaker system consisting of 2x18mm 10W tweeters and one 75mm 30W subwoofer, far-field microphones, an ambient light sensor, Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Chromecast built-in.
Because it has a camera, you can use gestures on the Nest Hub Max. You can look at it and raise your hand to pause media, thanks to its gesture recognition technology. Expanding upon Voice Match, which lets the Google Assistant recognize who is talking to it, the Hub Max has Face Match. The facial recognition is processed locally with on-device machine learning, so the camera data never leaves the device.
Once you walk in front of the camera, the Hub Max will recognize you and show just your information, and not anyone else's from your household. The Assistant will offer personalized recommendations, and you can easily video chat with friends by using Duo.
A green light on the front of the Hub Max indicates when the camera is streaming, and nothing is streamed or recorded unless you explicitly enable it. Additionally, you have a hardware switch that lets you physically disable both the microphone and the camera when you want to.
The Nest Hub Max will be available "later this summer" for $229 in the US, £219 in the UK, and AUD 349 in Australia. In the US it will be found at the Google Store, but also at Best Buy, Target, and Home Depot.
The smaller Nest Hub (previously known as Google Home Hub) is arriving in more markets: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden. In the US its price has been lowered to $129. Speaking of lower prices, the Google Home speaker is $99 from now on, while the Home Max is $299.