A few weeks ago, we were recording an episode of The Chrome Cast and taking stabs at what surprises Google may have up their sleeves at the now confirmed October hardware event. My guess was a refreshed Google Home Mini that now appears to be on its way in the form of a subtle but welcome new model that will bear the Nest namesake.
While waxing philosophic, we began a hearty round of “what if” and that was when Google’s Wifi surfaced. One of the best products to come out of Mountain View, the mesh-capable Wifi router is still one of the best on the market thanks to ease of setup and reliability. At the time, the idea of a new Wifi that incorporated features from Google’s smart-speaker lineup seemed a bit far-fetched. Well, I suppose that occasionally, truth is stranger than fiction.
According to a report from 9to5Google, Google could very well launch a new Wifi router under the Nest umbrella and it will include the Google Assistant. The new router will take a different approach than the current Google Wifi as it will include “beacon” devices instead of the identical units we’re familiar with at present. These second-generation units will include one primary router with add-on beacons similar to Eero Wifi. The difference is that the beacons will also function as Google Assistant speakers. (the primary router will not have the Assistant feature according to the source) 9to5’s source states that the beacons will offer functionality that is on par with the current and upcoming Nest Mini speakers but will add the ability to control certain Wifi settings via voice command.
The Nest Wifi is also reported as bringing a refreshed look that’s more in line with Google’s hardware lineup and will come in three different colors. Mesh capabilities will make a return and the best part is that the new Nest hardware should work with current Google Wifi devices.
We’ve been tracking a lot of work on some form of updated Wifi for some time now so it is very possible that Google could slide this one in at their hardware event next month. It would be a wise move to get these on shelves before the holiday shopping season begins ramping up. Personally, I’ll buy these in a heartbeat. Having a mesh Wifi setup and being able to replace some of my current Home devices at the same time is the perfect setup in my humble opinion.