OK Google. Start a video chat with Sundar.

It looks like Amazon isn’t the only company super busy with developing new smart home, smart assistant type products. After checking out the new Echo products earlier this week, it looks like Google has a Manhattan project of its own to expect the Google Home line beyond a single product. And this one’s got a 7-inch touchscreen to boot.

According to multiple sources, Google is working on a device that will compete directly against the Amazon Echo Show. Just as the Echo Show took the core functionality of the Echo and added in a screen, the so-called Google Manhattan (codename) should presumably do the same for the Google Home.

The 7-inch touchscreen on the Google Manhattan will tap into Google Assistant for weather reports and web queries. Unsurprisingly, it’ll also tap into the whole Google ecosystem too. That means you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos, flip through Google Photos and engage in Google Hangouts video calls using just your voice. And since Google owns Nest, you’ll be able to use it for smart home control as well.

Google had reportedly been working on much larger implementations of this technology — like possibly embedding Google Assistant right into your smart TV — but now they’ve shifted their focus to these smaller devices for now. They had originally planned to launch the Google Manhattan (or whatever it ends up being called) around the middle of next year. Now, there is pressure to get it out before the end of 2017 before the Echo Show scoops up too much market and mind share.


One big advantage is that the smart home device will likely run some variant of Android, so app development should be much more accessible. I imagine running Netflix and Skype on here would be great. How much the Manhattan will cost remains to be seen, but seeing the rapid expansion of Google Wifi, Chromecast, and Pixel (plus the $1.1 billion deal with HTC), it’s obvious that Google is just as interested in hardware as it is in software these days.

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