The Google Home Hub offers a lot of promise when it comes to using Google Assistant in a new way – but I’m still not sold on having one in my kitchen.
When Google announced the Home Hub on-stage in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the lack of camera on-board was explained away saying they wanted people to put the Hub in every room of your home, citing privacy. But they’ve simply failed to address rooms like the kitchen (and bathroom for that matter), due to a fairly simple reason: there’s no IP rating.
My kitchen isn’t a dirty place. In fact it’s one of the cleanest in the house, it’s the hub of the home where we spend a lot of time, but when you cook, there’s mess.
Google has made a great deal of noise about their Home Hub, and other Smart Displays showing off step-by-step cooking demos, and people asking Google Assistant ‘How many ounces in a cup?’ which looks fantastic for someone like me who loves to cook. But I just know I’ll want to touch it.
The Home Hub comes with an anti-smudge, oleophobic coating on the 7″ display which repels oils and is fingerprint resistant and the fabric back is hydrophobic allowing you to wipe it clean. But even that still isn’t enough to satisfy me.
Similarly, the Lenovo Smart Display (in both sizes) and the LG WK9 both make no mention of IP ratings, or even splash proofing. Only the JBL Link View comes close to satisfying my need for some sort of protection offering an IPX4 splashproof rating which in theory will protect against water spray.
I’ve been wanting something like a Smart Display or Home Hub in the kitchen for years. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator with built-in display is about closest to where I want to be – but it lacks a lot of the options I want, and frankly I don’t need a new fridge.
In short, I see a lot of promise from Smart Displays and I’ll definitely be getting a Home Hub to play with, but it’ll be going on a shelf in the living room rather than on my kitchen bench.