The letter “Q” looks like a circle with a cute little tail. Google cuts the tail with its Nexus Q, a spherical, home media device (try to throw a design lawsuit at THAT, Apple) designed to connect Android phones and tablets to your TV. The Verge has a rundown on the specs:
Billed as a “social streaming media player,” the Nexus Q appears to be a cloud-based device that streams music, video, and YouTube videos, and lets users share and create playlists from their own devices. The Nexus Q will also do double-duty as an amplifier, letting users plug in their own speakers that can be powered by the device’s 25-watt amp… Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and NFC are all supported on the sphere-shaped Q, which also has a capacitive touch sensor that will allow users to mute the audio.
Similar to Apple TV (aka “hockey puck”), the Nexus Q can get you and your devices talking to each other and stream media to the big screen. And for the time being, where Apple TV will let you connect to services like Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, the Nexus Q, which I will now call “bowling ball,” Google will only allow you to play with Play, its online media hub (again, like Apple’s iTunes).
One thing the bowling ball has that’s likely to make waves, especially in light of increasing sensitivity to where our products come from, is a “Designed and Manufactured in the USA” stamp right on its belly. The New York Times got a sneak peek at the Silicon Valley factory that’s going to make it:
At $299, the device costs significantly more than competing systems from companies like Apple and Roku. Google says this is in part because of the higher costs of manufacturing in the United States, but the company expects to bring the price down as it increases volume. The company is hoping that consumers will be willing to pay more, though it is unlikely that the “Made in America” lineage will be part of any marketing campaign.