Google Hires A User Experience Head For Its Smart Home Unit
Reports indicate that the former webOS and Pebble designer, Liron Damir, has been hired by Alphabet to become the user experience chief of Google Home group. Damir will be responsible for products such as Google Wifi, Chromecast and Google Home. This was confirmed by Damir in a posting on the professional networking website LinkedIn.
“[I am] super excited and proud to be joining Google… to lead the design of Google Home products,” wrote Damir.
Prior to joining Google Home group Damir was the chief of user experience at Essential, a startup associated with Andy Rubin, a former Android executive. During his stint at Pebble Damir was the vice president of design before it was purchase by Fitbit last year.
Damir has also had a stint designing the webOS mobile operating system at HP and later at LG. The mobile operating system had been conceived to take on iOS and Android by HP but the plans were scrapped when it became clear that its chances of succeeding against the likes of Samsung and Apple were slim. Three years ago LG acquired webOS and is now used as a smart television operating system.
Mobile app control
The hiring of Damir by Google comes at an interesting juncture since the Google Home product was unveiled without a screen and instead depends on mobile applications for control. Chromecast has also been positioned as a product without a display to act as a user interface and instead relies on mobile applications for the purposes of content selection.
At a developer conference that was held in May Google indicated that it is moving towards having both products closely integrated and this will mean that it might be necessary to have an on-screen interface. This is because more complex functionalities and features will be required such as having calendars as well as other information of Google Home owners displayed on television sets that are Chromecast-equipped. And using the voice assistant of Google, users of Chromecast will be able to play video on their television screens.
Google Play Music issues
Damir’s hiring has coincided with Google acknowledging issues plaguing Google Play Music on Google Home. Some of the issues include the smart home speaker experiencing problems when searching the content libraries of users. Additionally some purchases are not getting registered. Without indicating a timeline Google has confirmed that software engineers are trying to resolve the bug. Consequently a number of patches are expected to be distributed gradually.