Google reportedly testing smart displays that activate when you look at them

Yolanda Curtis
October 24, 2020

Poromius Nest Hub Max Somehow it is in "docfood" mode, which means it gets the initial, non-public configuration of the smart display software, which is for internal use only on Google. It seems like there might be an option to completely disable these functions.

Saying "Hey Google" or "Okay Google" isn't the biggest of smart home chores, especially since the Google Assistant already listens for a few extra seconds, ready for your next question or command.

Here's an interesting experiment Google is making on its smart screens: entering voice commands without a hot word.

The feature would essentially allow people to activate Google Assistant without having to say "Hey Google" or "OK Google".

Today, Google's voice command hardware is always listening, but only the hotword "Hey Google" is listening.

The video shows how, when close enough to the Nest Hub Max, only the word "weather" is needed to have Google show the local weather forecast.

To operate his device, he simply says what he wants and the device responds. The Nest Max comes equipped with a video camera, but it also has ultrasound sensing technology; thus, either could detect the user's presence. Normally this would require the user to say "Hey Google, weather".

As reported by Android Central, Google assistant might soon be responding without the "Hey Google" wake-up call before giving out commands to the smart displays of Nest Hub.

Of course, this introduces a fair few privacy concerns.

The Google Home app is integrating a new feature that will enable users to set up routines for its Nest products that will further trigger 'presence sensing.' The new feature, Home & Away Routines on Google Home will, therefore automatically adjust Nest devices when the user is at home or outdoors.

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