Google took some time at Google I/O to unveil a brand new push into smart displays. The goal is to create a “truly helpful home”, and the first product out of the team from Nest and Google is the
Google is bridging the Nest and Google Hardware teams in this “helpful home” effort. That means all of Google’s smart devices are falling under this category now, including the Google Home smart speaker and the new smart displays out there. Google is publishing a privacy plan for its smart devices, too, making it more obvious how it’s storing and using data.
Google Home Hub is now known as Nest Hub. And now there is a 10-inch display product called “Nest Hub Max”. This will let you control smart devices like adjusting your thermostat, and lights, and more. It will communicate with Thread-supported devices that rely on a low-power connection, like door locks. There is also a built-in camera. You can turn it on while away from home, see event history, enable home away assist, and get a notification if it catches movement from someone it doesn’t “recognize”.
Google Duo is supported on the device out of pocket, which means video calls are easy.
Nest Hub Max does not stream or record from the camera unless explicitly dictated by the user. There is a physical switch on the back that will electrically disable the microphone and camera too.
Hub Max is “designed to be used by multiple people in your home”, all in a personalized way. There is an option to turn on “Voice Match” to start. There are new options coming to the camera, though. “Face Match” will adopt a facial model, which is encrypted and stored on the device. Now the camera will recognize each individual, showing each person’s information. All of this is processed locally on the device, so the camera data won’t leave the Hub Max.
Google Photos is supported, too, making the Hub Max a great digital photo frame. It will also let you watch content from YouTube TV on the display as well. You can even just lift your hand in front of the camera to answer a call.
Nest Hub Max launches later this year for just $229. Today, Google is also lowering the price to $129 for the original Nest Hub. It’s expanding to 12 new markets and supporting nine new languages.