Jun 28, 2012
Google I/O may have had a few expected announcements: Jelly Bean, the Nexus tablet, and the Google Glasses becoming official, but one product is a particular surprise: the Nexus Q.
The Nexus Q seems like an interesting device, kn that it wasn’t exactly expected. It’s taking on the Apple TV and AirPlay in general by trying to exist as a streaming media hub. Android devices will be able to stream media to the Nexus Q, including music and video content. Google Music owners will be able to use the Nexus Q to stream their collection with just the device. Android tablets and phones can control the Nexus Q wirelessly. It also has speaker connections, so it could serve as a kind of wireless audio receiver to go along with its media streaming features.
The form factor is a curious decision: spherical, with a ring of blue LEDs that light up when it is on. Google is also boasting that this device is made entirely in the United States. All this will come at a steep price: $299. This may not have the mass-market appeal of the Apple TV, which has done well for Apple at its $99 price, though their use of common chip architecture across the iOS line is a boon to them. The Nexus Q ships starting in July.
The Google glasses, now officially called Google Glass, were also confirmed. They won’t be mass-market devices at launch, as they’ll retail for $1500, and will not ship until next year, at least for the Explorer Edition model. The future of the project is still not entirely clear, but Google spent plenty of time showing the interactive digital eyewear off in their Google I/O presentation. With the delayed launch, it does appear that there’s still a lot to be done to make the glasses ready for even developer consumption, but it could be a very interesting project down the road.