Google Home

Maximum PC - - R&D -

BACK­GROUND

Google wants to bring the robot as­sis­tants of the fu­ture to the world to­day. Equipped with Google As­sis­tant, the Google Home is rar­ing to work with smart home de­vices, sup­port Google ser­vices, and an­swer ques­tions. Does it have what it takes to ful­fill your fu­tur­is­tic fan­tasies? Time to tear down the Home!

MA­JOR TECH SPECS

• High-ex­cur­sion speaker with two-inch driver and dual

two-inch pas­sive ra­di­a­tors

• Far-field mi­cro­phones

• Cus­tom­iz­a­ble base

• 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi

• Touch sur­face con­trols

KEY FIND­INGS

• Re­mov­ing the base gives us our first look at that high­ex­cur­sion speaker and a hid­den mi­cro-USB pro­gram­ing/ de­bug port. To pull out the four Torx screws hid­ing deep in the speaker re­cess, we grab our fixed-blade screw­drivers for a lit­tle ex­tra reach. Once they’re out, we pop the top. The lid sep­a­rates with ease, and fi­nally the cap­sule is open.

• Af­ter send­ing out a few test sig­nals, we move on to dis­con­nect a pesky in­ter­con­nect ca­ble. This runs from the mother­board up to a board tucked in the top of the lid, prob­a­bly home to a fancy mi­cro­phone and LED ar­ray.

• There’s some se­ri­ously strong ad­he­sive hold­ing this board to the up­per case. With a fi­nal yank (and a big dose of iso­propyl al­co­hol to dis­solve the glue), the LED board comes free to re­veal the source of our strug­gle: a ton of ad­he­sive tape.

• The stretchy O-ring seems to be the key to delv­ing even deeper in­side this smart speaker. In ad­di­tion to its role as a gate­keeper, the O-ring prob­a­bly also func­tions as a vi­bra­tion damp­ener. This seems a more re­pair-friendly so­lu­tion than the layer of stuck-down fab­ric on the Ama­zon Echo.

• The bit that holds the mag­nets for the bot­tom case also has a mys­tery ca­ble locked in­side it. Closer in­spec­tion re­veals: yet more mys­tery! The ca­ble sports four con­tact points. Per­haps more test­ing points? Al­ter­nate (made-up) the­o­ries: Rec­og­nizes the base color, so the Home can co-or­di­nate its out­fits bet­ter; ves­ti­gial charg­ing mech­a­nism (maybe the Home’s ar­chi­tects in­tended it to be por­ta­ble); aban­doned Easter egg dungeon level for tear­down en­gi­neers.

• Re­pairabil­ity Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is eas­i­est to re­pair). Min­i­mal mov­ing parts mean there are min­i­mal points of fail­ure. Only stan­dard screws and con­nec­tors are used through­out the de­vice. Many com­po­nents are mo­du­lar and can be re­placed in­di­vid­u­ally. The DC-in port is sol­dered to the mother­board, but is un­likely to ex­pe­ri­ence much wear, con­sid­er­ing the de­vice stays plugged in. The touch board is strongly ad­hered to the up­per case.

A sim­ple rib­bon ca­ble holds the swap­pable outer shell in place.

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