Following the launch of the Home Max this month, Google’s smart speaker lineup for the year will be complete. However, rumors already point to the company working on a device with a touchscreen, while a new report today suggests multi-touch input for future devices.

Besides voice, last year’s Google Home featured a touch-sensitive surface that could be tapped to issue commands, play/pause, and adjust volume. The Home Mini removed tapping to start speaking due to a hardware bug, though speaker controls are still present. Meanwhile, the Home Max has controls similar to the original speaker.

These controls are rudimentary, with future devices possibly integrating multi-touch, according to a new job listing (spotted by Variety):

In this role, you’ll work on the next generation of Google Hardware to enable the best mutli-touch user experience. You will lead the touch module development and integration for Google Hardware from concept to mass production.

You’ll work to define complete touch solutions, including selecting controllers, selecting sensor manufacturing vendors, defining sensor patterns, providing board/ITO layout constraints and requirements and overseeing physical engineering design layout.

While Google is rumored to be developing a speaker that features a touchscreen to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show, this description for a “Touch Sensor Hardware Engineer” suggests it is for a screen-less device. A display would be more integrated and not necessarily feature a separate “touch module,” whereas such a component could be added to a speaker.

It’s unclear how a smart speaker would leverage more advanced controls, but regardless, multi-touch should make for a more intuitive user experience.


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