The original Google Home speaker was introduced back in 2016, which means it’s long overdue for an update. This week, we saw leaked photos that appear to show Google’s big revamp for its OG smart speaker.
The photos in question showed up in a filing on Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications website under the name GXCA6, shortly after a device with the same name appeared in a recent FCC filing. Going by the naming pattern for Google’s most recent smart speakers, this thing will probably end up being called the Google Nest or Google Nest Home.
Like of lot of recent Google Nest gadgets, the GXAC6 is covered in some kind of mesh fabric, with a shape that’s reminiscent of the Google Home Max. That said, with the device measuring about 220mm tall (around 8.5 inches), it looks like it will strike a balance between the smaller Nest Mini and the plus-sized Home Max. There are some differences, though: The large foot on bottom suggests that the GXAC6 is primary meant to sit upright, unlike the Home Max, which can be positioned either vertically or horizontally.
As you’d expect from a Google smart speaker, the GXAC6 doesn’t appear to have many other distinguishing physical characteristics aside from a single toggle switch on the back (most likely for muting its built-in microphone) and a power port. The filing also mentions a set of four indicator lights, which are likely hidden behind its fabric exterior. The filing didn’t mention it explicitly, but presumably there will also be hidden touch controls for adjusting the speaker’s volume or skipping tracks (going by the photos alone, it’s hard to say for sure).
After Google cancelled Google I/O 2020 and the Android 11 Beta Show, its main events for the year, it’s unclear when this upcoming Nest device might officially go on sale. I would be somewhat surprised if the GXAC6 didn’t make an appearance later this fall, when Google typically holds a major product showcase (usually in October or November).
After four years on the market, it’ll be nice to see Google refresh one of the first devices that took Google Assistant out of your phone and into the rest of your home.