The latest beta of the Google app on Monday yielded a wealth of information about “Bisto.” First encountered in April as a new device type possibly related to headphones, this teardown confirmed it and detailed features, functionality, and operation.
However, the most interesting item revealed on Monday was how OEMs were likely making these Google Assistant-running headphones. Suggesting a variety of form factors, we have now learned that one such possible design could be over-the-ear headphones.
A teardown of the standalone Google Assistant app (version 1.0.9006) on iOS revealed a GIF that shows a generic pair of over-the-ear headphones with a button on the cup for activating Google Assistant.
This animation, along with strings found in the teardown, detail how users will have to press and hold on the button to issue voice commands. The teardown also made direct reference to the cups found on headphones of this style, as well as this Google Assistant button.
Even with the OEM nature of Bisto, Google might still make their own first-party headphones. However, Bisto seems to be less ambitious than the bone conduction that Project Aura was rumored to be using for in-ear wearables that could have replaced Google Glass.
Regardless of the technology involved, this Android Wear-like model of allowing OEMs to design different smart headphones could scale quite well for Google. Given that the same Bisto strings on Android were found in the iOS app, cross compatibility is more than likely.
Meanwhile, for manufacturers, this arrangement eliminates the need to create their own smart assistant and backend.