Google today introduced the Pixel Stand, a charger and mount for the Pixel 3 designed to help quickly surface information and interact with Google Assistant.
When placed in the stand, the Pixel 3 can display pertinent information about your day such as calendar, latest reminders, and work commute time.
Alarms in the morning will give off soft colors to help you wake up, and when not in use the phone screen can display an automatically created Google Photos album or one you choose yourself. The Pixel Stand costs $79.
It can also do things like display album art when playing music and takes advantage of a series of recent upgrades that make for a more visual experience with Google Assistant on Android phones.
The stand was introduced today at a Google hardware event in New York City alongside a series of other products, including the latest version of Google’s flagship smartphone, the Pixel 3; the Home Hub smart display; and the Pixel Slate tablet.
The stand could, to some extent, cannibalize the market of potential Home Hub customers, but it could also be important for Google, because despite the proliferation of smart speakers and assistants going everywhere from the car to home appliances, multiple surveys have found that the smartphone is still the device most likely to be used to communicate with an AI assistant.
Nearly half of exchanges with Google Assistant this year have involved voice and touch, Google said earlier this month.
The Pixel Stand comes along at a time when experiences with AI assistants continue to get more visual.
Amazon’s Fire 8 and Fire 10 tablets can now be purchased with a charging dock to display them upright in a way similar to the Pixel Stand, and when placed in Show Mode can do things like share videos, display photos from your personal collection, and play with visual Alexa skills. The 10-inch second-generation Echo Show is available for purchase for the first time on Thursday.
Facebook also just introduced its first-ever consumer electronic devices, Portal and Portal+ for Messenger video calls and access to Amazon’s Alexa.