New Nest speaker expected to bring UWB, matching HomePod transfer

New Nest speaker expected to bring UWB, matching HomePod transfer

Google appears to be preparing a next-generation Nest smart speaker that supports ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity, likely matching Apple’s HomePod “Handoff” feature.

Last month, we reported exclusively on two next generation smart speakers in development in the Fuchsia project of Google, Clover and Buckeye. The former appears to be a third-gen Nest Mini, while the latter initially appeared to be primarily led by chipmaker Amlogic rather than Google itself.

In recent weeks, Google developers have started to be more directly involved in the preparations for Buckeye. For that reason, we now believe this is indeed an upcoming Nest speaker, possibly due in 2023. Buckeye’s high-end processor and audio chip suggest it would either act as a successor to the 2019 Nest Audio, either as something to replace the 2017 Google Home Max.

According to newly posted fuchsia codethis future Nest speaker – possibly a “Nest Audio (2nd Gen)” or a “Nest Audio Pro” – will come with UWB support.

Present on iPhones since 2019, UWB is a short-range wireless connection that can, for example, find a missing AirTag with an accuracy of 2 to 4 inches or act as a digital car key. Apple also uses UWB technology to power “Handoff,” a way to bring an iPhone closer to a HomePod to move music to that speaker.

UWB is also available on Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro today, but isn’t used for much at the moment other than Nearby Sharing. This week at the Android Dev Summit, Google gave a more direct look at what UWB can and should be able to do on Android.

While Android 13 was in development, it was discovered that Google was preparing a “Tap to transferfeature. From what we could piece together at the time, a new indicator would ask you to “move closer” to a particular speaker to play your music on the other device. However, it was not it was unclear at the time what these efforts were intended for, as Google’s current Nest hardware does not support UWB or NFC.

Knowing now that Google appears to be readying a new premium speaker – with UWB and seemingly higher audio quality – it’s clear that the Pixel team’s efforts on UWB and Tap to Transfer have grown for tighter integration with the Nest division. This redoubled collaboration was notably in the spotlight at this year’s Made by Google event, where the Pixel tablet was revealed at doubles as an Assistant smart display.

While Google has long touted its Nest, Android, and ChromeOS hardware as “better together,” UWB and Tap to Transfer might be one of the most consistent Made by Google pushes we’ve seen in years.

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