Out of what feels like nowhere, a new Google event has surfaced and it is completely focused on things that work with “Hey Google.” In the opening paragraph of the landing page for the event, Google says the following:
COVID-19 has made it difficult for us to meet you at I/O, Global Developer Summits, and EMEA Smart Home Summit. Our team does not want to miss the opportunity to connect, and we decided to take things virtual!
Join us on July 8, 2020 to hear what’s new, and what’s coming up for the Google Smart Home.
This new event is clearly a place for Google to communicate to devleopers and manufacturers about what is new in the Google Assistant and smart home space. On July 8th at 1PM, there is a keynote address to kick the event off, followed by a partner panel. Additionally, the landing page has a few quick tips listed as on-demand videos you can actually watch right now. Again, most of this is geared towards developers looking to leverage Google Assistant in their devices, so most of these videos aren’t really terribly interesting for general consumers.
What is interesting is the fact that this event gives Google a platform to announce two devices we all know are coming: the new Chromecast/Android TV dongle and the new Google Home speaker. Both have leaked with the new Chromecast being fully laid bare over the past few weeks. There’s little we don’t know about it at this point, so it is time to simply make it official and get it into retail channels across the board.
I don’t see this as a fit for announcing the new Pixel 4a, so if that’s what you are eagerly waiting for from Google, this likely won’t be the event you were looking for. So geared towards developers, manufacturers, and retail folks is this event that you can’t actually watch it unless you register first. I went ahead and did so, but it requires you to be less-than-honest in order to finish the form. Some of the drop-downs assume you are in the retail/manufacturer space and there are no options for “other” or “N/A,” so you are left to be a bit dishonest if you’d like to tune in as things are happening.
The whole thing is set to happen on July 8th, so there’s not long to wait for whatever Google chooses to unveil. Sure, there’s a chance they choose to skip hardware altogether and make this just about software and Assistant features, but it feels unlikely that they would skip a clear opportunity to go ahead and get these hardware products launched. Google needs some sort of central event to use as a springboard for these devices after all, and this event is exactly the type of platform that would make sense for it. I predict that by next Wednesday, we’ll all know a whole lot more about the Chromecast/Android TV dongle and the new Google Home speaker. Stay tuned.
SOURCE: 9to5 Google