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Google outs Nexus Q - a gleaming ball that streams media around your house

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Google outs Nexus Q - a gleaming ball that streams media around your house
Oh look, Google's Project Tungsten just got round! Google is certainly starting to pay attention to the design of all products with its logo on them, judging by the just-announced Nexus Q streaming media device. The cool ball-shaped Nexus Q is powered by Android and can connect to all your content stored in the cloud, and stream stuff from your account and Google Play to your home stereo or HDTV.

Google outs Nexus Q - a gleaming ball that streams media around your house
Naturally, you can control the streaming coming from this sphere, powered by an OMAP4460 processor via your Android smartphone and tablet. NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are onboard, along with 16GB of storage and 1GB RAM. It has a 25 watts amplifier built-in, plus also optical digital audio and microHDMI output ports for hooking up to speakers and TVs. Google's engineering head Joe Britt said: "The engineer who designed the amp is really into tube amps. He’s an amplifier aficionado. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by how good it sounds when you pair it with a decent set of speakers." Speakers are naturally coming as an additional accessory later on.

This is also the first hardware piece entirely engineered and made in-house by Google, just showing what these guys are capable of when they leave coding for a while and turn to soldering and wrapping it all in an appealing consumer product. The device is entirely made in the US, and sports pretty unintrusive controls - turn the cap for volume control, or just touch the dome to mute or play.

You can play YouTube videos, movies from the Play Store, share and shuffle music with your friends, and so on. The LED light around the sphere blinks in sync with the music in various colors, and you can daisy chain a number of GQs wirelessly in multiple rooms of the house. Anyone can overwrite or rearrange the playlist created, even the host's songs, bringing a pretty liberal approach to your next party. Google is hellbent to emphasize the social sharing approach that Nexus Q will allow, with guests and hosts sharing the playlist queue, and Britt says it works out great in practice:

We didn’t want to build in artificial limits that the owner of Nexus Q could enforce. You can’t control how many songs someone can add, or what permissions one person has over another. It’s a social, shared experience, and you and I have to actually interact if there’s disagreement about the song list...

There are of lots of different ways people interact socially, and some have become deprecated over time,” Britt says. “But I’m not sure if that’s because they’re less interesting or less valuable, or because new modes of communication and entertainment have made people forget about the value associated with them. Nexus Q is revival of something that used to be very commonplace, but it’s something humans still react very positively to.

Since it works with Google Music, Play Store and YouTube, it kind of ties you to the Google ecosystem, but we think the enterprising folks from XDA-devs might have a field day with it, since it will be running Android ICS out of the box. Finally a great streamer that integrates with your Android device naturally, but it comes with a slightly unpleasant $299 price, available for preorder as we speak, coming in July. Any takers?

via Wired

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posted on 27 Jun 2012, 13:06 1

1. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

This is waaay cool. I will wait a few months for the price to come down a bit, though... Now, THAT is innovation.

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 13:21 3

2. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1132; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)

Yeah, I'll wait for the price drop as well

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 13:34

3. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

If it hooks into google TV, Netflix, and the rest to make it a bonifide advanced media center then it might be something to look out for. As a stylish google play device... not so much. My phone/tablet already does that.

on a side note, it looks like a stylized version of those octopus enemies from the matrix revolutions :)

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 14:27 1

4. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

The minute this comes out I am so there. I use Skifta, all the time at my place or my brothers place & it works insanely well. I love that this has NFC interaction because I can think of a million things to do. I can set it up like a NFC tag & just move my phone over it & start a movie or a party mix or anything.

Google X is the sh*t. This is such a great idea. I want one now!

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 18:07

5. Scyllax (unregistered)

This is something "NEW." Will wait for around six months after hooking up with this.

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 18:53

6. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Price is high, but it looks cool. As in, how it looks like a magic 8 ball. Media players are popular. I might try this. But I want to try it in person though.

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 19:56

7. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Now this is a booming theatre system i like to have. i wonder what's the watts on this baby? My room is small can't have a sound bar but this would BE PERFECT!!

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