Gadget Lab Podcast: Ivy Ross, Google’s Head of Hardware Design

Is Facebook’s new video chat portal for your home completely creepy, or will it be useful in some way? Was Google’s decision not to include a camera in its new smart home hub driven by privacy concerns? And what exactly does the concept of the “thoughtful home” mean? (It sure sounds a lot better than “Internet of Things.”)

These are just a few of the things the Gadget Lab team discusses on this week’s podcast. And in the second half of the show, we’re joined by Ivy Ross, Google’s vice president of hardware design and the person whose team is responsible for things like the Pixel 3’s glass back, the “Not Pink” color choice, the soft fabric on Google’s smart home speakers, and yes, the cut-out on the top of the Pixel 3 XL smartphone. We ask Ross, whose previous experience includes working at Calvin Klein, Coach, Mattel, and Gap, how she defines good design.

Show notes: You can read all about Google’s new products here. Mike’s story about Facebook Portal is here.

Recommendations this week: Lauren recommends Jessica Powell’s new satirical book, “The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional But Essentially True Silicon Valley Story.” Mike recommends a completely addictive, $4 mobile game called Holedown, designed by Martin Jonasson.

Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

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