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Qualcomm’s new Home Hub platforms will bring Google Assistant to more devices

Qualcomm booth

Chipset giant Qualcomm has revealed two new platforms for Google’s Android Things devices, further establishing itself as a player in the smart home market.

The platforms are designed to facilitate easy development of new smart home products featuring Google services (primarily Google Assistant) by manufacturers.

Qualcomm says it’s already working with Harman and Lenovo on home products that use the two platforms, including Lenovo’s new Smart Display — unveiled at the same time as the Home Hub platforms (pictured below).

Qualcomm says the platform includes system-on-modules (SoMs), development boards and reference designs, all of which are expected to be generally available within the first quarter of 2018.

The Qualcomm Home Hub platform for lower-budget, or at least less complex, Android Things devices — based on the SDA212 system-on-a-chip (SoC) — is designed to give digital assistant and audio capabilities to things like refrigerators, ovens and washing machines. The platform offers echo-cancellation, noise suppression and “barge-in” capability — for recognizing a user’s voice even in loud or noisy environments.

The second platform, based on the SDA624 SoC, adds edge computing capabilities and supports multimedia, video camera and touch display, making it optimal for smart displays, home monitoring cameras, smart thermostats and security panels. It supports tasks like video conferencing, remote video monitoring, movie and video streaming.

Both platforms support Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO and Bluetooth connectivity using Qualcomm’s QCA9379 chip.

Google also announced plans to open up Assistant to a wider variety of devices from third-party manufacturers, including smart displays and headphones.

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