There have been rumors about a Google Home device with a display since September. Amazon has the Echo Show and the Echo Spot, so it always felt like a natural progression. Voice can handle the majority of tasks, but a display certainly comes in handy sometimes. Google Assistant will be coming to displays, but they won’t be made by Google (at first).
A few companies at CES have announced smart displays with Google Assistant. Lenovo was one company that had a device to show off. The device looks sort of like a propped up tablet with a big speaker on one side. It does everything Google Home can do, but the display allows it to show more information and things like video calls and YouTube videos.
The display is a touchscreen, so you can interact with more than just your voice. However, voice is still the easiest input method. These smart displays are running Android Things, a special version of Android for internet-of-things devices. They don’t have browsers or traditional apps, though it does use apps like Duo, YouTube, Play Music, and Google Photos.
Privacy is a big concern with smart devices that have always-on microphones and now more are including webcams as well. Lenovo included a physical mute switch for the microphone and a physical shutter to block the camera. The Lenovo Smart Display will be available for $200 for the 8-inch model and $250 for the 10-inch model sometime this summer.