updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed June 27, 2012
Streaming device pulls media from Google Play
Today at the Google I/O keynote, the search giant took the wraps off of a new media-streaming peripheral, the Nexus Q. The small, spherical device plugs into speaker systems and televisions, allowing users to stream media directly from the cloud. Additionally, users can control and interact with the Nexus Q using an Android phone or tablet running Android 2.3 or higher with access to Google Play. Google touts the device as "the first social streaming media player."
Google showed off the device's capabilities on stage during the presentation. Google presenters added songs from multiple devices, which immediately appeared in the play queue. Users were also able to stream video directly from Google Play, with the Nexus Q picking up at the most recently-watched point in the video. The presenters also noted that users with multiple Nexus Qs will be able to distribute media throughout multiple rooms, though this was not demonstrated on stage.
The Nexus Q comes with ports for Micro HDMI, TOSLink Optical audio, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and Micro AB USB. The device also features banana jack speaker outputs for plugging into stereo systems. Google built a 25W class D amplifier into the device to power bookshelf speakers, though the sphere itself lacks speakers.
The device measures 4.6 inches in diameter and weighs about two pounds. It features 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal flash memory. Inside are a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and a SGX540 graphics core. The device runs Android 4.0, and Google gave no word on whether it would see an upgrade to Android 4.1. Users can connect to the Q via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and near-field communications (NFC) technologies.
The Nexus Q is available for pre-order in the Google Play Store for $300. It is slated to ship in two to three weeks.