Now it’s looking even more likely Google plans on going all-in on hardware. Later this year, the company could enter a new product category with Google Assistant being the backbone of the device. It’s yet another sign that Google wants to be involved in both hardware and software moving forward.
The latest beta of the Google app, according to 9to5Google, includes references to an unannounced device. And it’s not a phone nor a tablet. The device is actually on-ear headphones utilizing Google Assistant’s technology. Internally it’s known as Bisto.
Features being tested on the Google Assistant-powered headphones include voice search and commands, notification playback, and direct reply for messages.
Not a single image of Bisto has leaked at this time. Despite that, select lines of code from the Google app tell us the device has physical buttons for Google Assistant and something else unidentified. The undeclared button, located at the top, should be for power.
If Google does indeed have this product planned and ready for a 2017 release, it shouldn’t be too long before the artificial intelligence-infused headphones debut. The company is already expected to hold a launch event in September for the Pixel 2, and even more devices could join it than just the Google Assistant-powered headphones. There’s a rumor floating around that a new Chromebook Pixel and mini Google Home are on the way as well. All of these becoming official at the same time means Google will have at least four entirely new devices to offer by the end of the year.
Keep in mind that the Pixel 2 is believed to be missing a headphone jack. By releasing on-ear headphones, Google could be speaking directly to prospective buyers. There’s even a chance those who pre-order the Pixel 2 will get free headphones. We’ll just have to wait and see.