Google today launched Smart Displays, a new category of devices for the smart home that brings the Google Assistant to an interactive screen for a richer visual experience. And the first Smart Display from Lenovo will go on sale in US retail and online stores this weekend.
With the Google Assistant built in, the Lenovo Smart Display allows you to access Google services, including Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Duo and Photos, in a visual and helpful way.
With the combination of voice and a screen, Smart Displays are easy to browse and you can search for song, album, or playlist. Here are a few things you can do: Stream your favourite music with YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and Pandora, with free tier available for all services; stay informed with Google News, including the latest video news briefs featuring national and local publishers like CNBC, CBS, and Cheddar; jam to your favourite radio stations with iHeartRadio and TuneIn; or listen to audiobooks from Google Play Books.
You can also ask YouTube to play anything such as how-to videos, cooking videos, product reviews and with every Smart Display, you get three free months of YouTube Premium (for new subscribers).
If you have a YouTubeTV membership, you can enjoy live or recorded TV in your library, no remote control necessary. The next time you want to turn on the game, you can say “Hey Google, watch ESPN” to start streaming. Many other popular video services are supported too, including HBO Now, Google Play Movies & TV and Crackle.
The company has also added Google Assistant Routines to get a verbal and visual summary of the weather, traffic to work, reminders, and your agenda and then play a video news brief from your preferred news sources. You can even create and manage a shopping list on your Smart Display and bring up your list on your phone when you’re at the grocery store. Or, avoid the trip and order a delivery with Google Express from your favourite stores like Costco, Target and Walmart.
“With video calling on Google Duo, you can instantly connect with your closest friends and family on Smart Displays. Duo is also built in on Android phones and available for free on iOS, so you can call your friends and family hands-free across devices,” the company said in a blog post.
Also when you’re not using your Smart Display, the screen can serve as an always-on digital photo album. And you can just ask the Assistant whenever you want to see specific pictures of a family vacation or other special moments with the important people in your life.
The Lenovo Smart Display is available in two display sizes and colours – an 8-inch HD version for $199.99 and the 10-inch full-HD version for $249.99, and they both come with a full-range 10 watt speaker for loud and clear audio.
“We’ll expand the Smart Display options with other partners, including JBL and LG, and will be launching in other countries soon,” added Google.