Just before we head into Google I/O, Google has just announced the JBL Link Bar, a first of its kind, hybrid soundbar with built-in Android TV and the Google Assistant.
The JBL Link Bar essentially works like any other voice-assistant enabled smart speaker but because it is a sound bar, it connects to your television via an HDMI connection and also gives you all the functionality of an Android TV.
According to a report by GSMArena, what this translates to is a completely seamless and almost touchless TV experience, starting from switching channels, browsing through music or television shows on Netflix to watching a quick tutorial on YouTube, all carried out by the Google Assistant. In fact, the Link Bar does not even come with a remote.
The ad for the Link Bar also gives us a small sneak peek into what the Google Assistant will be soon capable of. In the advert, we see a mother asking the Google Assistant to “Dim the lights, turn off the TV, and play some music on Pandora.” This includes three separate tasks given to the Assistant to perform in a single sentence and it still manages to do all three just fine.
Not a lot is known about the specs and price just yet, but we are aware of the number of ports this sound bar gets. The JBL Link Bar comes with four HDMI inputs, an optical port, line-in and Ethernet.
We do expect Google to reveal more about the product at I/O before it starts retailing later in fall.