Since Google first accidentally revealed a new hardware device string codenamed ‘Bisto’ back in April, we’ve been intrigued. Now it appears that Google is moving ahead with the device and it’s a set of headphones with Google Assistant built-in.
The reveal is thanks to a teardown of the Google App beta done by 9to5Google, who found a new string referring to headphones, and the Google Assistant. The string says:
That’s pretty clear right there.
9to5Google also found references to hardware buttons including a ‘top button’ but there should be more than one with references to having to ‘press and hold on a button in order to speak a query’. To complete the feature set, an OTA update function will allow the device to receive the latest features and security updates as Google decides to push them.
Google is very much under close scrutiny when it comes to privacy. Google Glass showed a lot of people are afraid of devices potentially recording, or in this case, listening to them without their knowledge, so a manual action to enable you to begin talking to the Google Assistant could dispel those fears.
The most likely place we’ll see this would be alongside the Pixel 2/Pixel XL 2 announcement which is expected (though not confirmed) around the end of September. We’ve seen a pair of Google branded Bluetooth headphones head through the FCC already this year, and while those were intended for staff use, we’ll be keeping an eye out for some more to pass through in the next month or so.