Google abandons work to move Assistant smart speakers to Fuchsia

9to5Google reports:

Last year, we reported that Google’s Fuchsia team had renewed its efforts to support smart speakers. Long story short, the team had experimented with a single speaker, ditched that effort, then “restored” it later on. More importantly, the Fuchsia team was found to be working on multiple speakers, the most notable of which was an as-yet-unreleased speaker equipped with UWB.


In a newly posted code change, the Fuchsia team formally marked all of its speaker hardware as “unsupported” and altogether removed the related code. Among the hardware now unsupported by Fuchsia, you’ll find the underlying SoCs for the Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Wifi point, a potentially upcoming Nest speaker, and some Android Things-based smart speakers.

The Fuchsia team hasn’t shared a reason why its smart speaker efforts were discontinued. One issue that potentially played a role is that the Amlogic A113L chip used in “Clover” – an unknown device that we suspect may be the Pixel Tablet dock – does not meet Fuchsia’s strict CPU requirements. Amlogic’s engineers attempted to work around this issue, seemingly to no avail.

It also doesn’t help Google fired about 20% of the 400 people working on Fuchsia. Since its discovery about six years ago, Fuchsia has been on an upward trajectory, but the massive layoffs and now the end of the smart speakers project, one has to wonder what the future of Fuchsia is going to be. Everything seemed to point at Fuchsia one day taking hold in Android and Chrome OS, but that seems farther away now than ever.


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