Google might have the better smart speaker, but Amazon's Echo family leads the market. While Google last year announced its Google Home Mini and Google Home Max (the latter available only in the US for now), Amazon still has more devices. Its line includes the Echo Show and smaller Echo Spot, which are smart speakers with a touchscreen display - and that's something Google doesn't offer. Yet.
Smart displays that include Google Assistant do exist, but Google has not yet announced its own version. However, reports suggest its own Smart Display will be announced and on sale in time for Christmas 2018.
The concept of a smart display was first touched on by Google at CES 2018, and explored further at May's Google I/O conference when it confirmed the first of these devices would go on sale in July.
Devices from Lenovo, LG, JBL and Sony have been announced, with each combining the standard smart speaker hardware and Google Assistant software with a touchscreen display and camera for video calling, YouTube videos, visualisations of map directions, and more. You can see the sort of functionality the smart displays offer in Google's promo video below:
When is the Google Smart Display release date?
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Google's Smart Display will be on sale before Christmas, and that means it will likely be announced during its October hardware event.
Early reports suggested that event would, for the third year running, take place on 4 October 2018. However, insiders talking to Bloomberg now point to a 9 October release date.
The publication claims that the devices will be made by Pegatron, and that Google hopes to ship 3 million devices in its first batch. Given that Amazon shipped only 315,000 Echo Show devices in2017, that's a surprisingly hopeful stance to take.
The fact Google will make its own Smart Display comes as no surprise to us. In December 2017 Google put out feelers for a Touch Sensor Hardware Engineer for Google Home, as evidenced by a LinkedIn job post unearthed by Trusted Reviews.
“In this role, you’ll work on the next generation of Google Hardware to enable the best multi-touch user experience. You will lead the touch module development and integration for Google Hardware from concept to mass production,” states the job description.
The eventual hire will “work to define complete touch solutions” and make “our user’s interaction with computing faster, more powerful, and seamless”, it continues.