We slept with the Google Nest Hub beside us. Here’s what we learnt – – Bandwagon

January 21, 2022 by No Comments

With everyone and their aunts turning smart homes into a 21st century staple, it seems fitting that the Google Nest Hub saw an upgrade from its first generation. Launched in Singapore late last year, the 2nd generation Google Nest Hub imbues more of what the tech behemoth sees as not just home devices for access to lights and switches, but also as personal accompaniments to everyone’s bedside and nightstand.

Starkly, the Nest Hub introduces Sleep Sensing, one of the features that sets it apart from its predecessor. How it does this is via Motion Sense enabled by Google’s Soli chip, a low-energy radar inside the Hub that only detects motions. Interestingly, Google has come forward to reiterate that Sleep Sensing tracks just movements, not facial or specific body recognition, amidst security concerns. 

What this means is that sleep patterns throughout the night are analysed via behaviours, like snoring, or in my case, restless and coughing. I won’t lay bare my coughing habits for public scrutiny, but let’s just say it was plenty.

The Nest Hub’s ability to track light and sound also means it can sense temperature changes and light disturbances, thereby making me feel guilty for my incessant pre-bedtime web crawling with its sleep report the next morning. This also means it dims and adjusts its brightness according to the surrounding light inside the room, which is a treat when you realise just how bright it can get. 

Over time, it learns the users sleep patterns and suggests insights and recommendations, something which can also be accessed via the Google Fit app, housing all of its user’s existing data in one place for easy access. Google has also announced plans to collaborate with popular sleep tracker and digital activewear company Fitbit to blend this information together in the future, and while I personally don’t own one for myself, bodes well for the foresight of its device usage amongst those that do.

Another feature that comes courtesy of its Soli chip is Quick Gestures, which allows users to change a song currently playing or a video to be swapped just by a wave of a hand. Additionally, alarms can literally be waived off if a snooze is in the cards that morning, as if we didn’t already feel bad for ordering tech to search up our whimsy, useless trivia. 

As with its other devices, entertainment, wellness, and productivity features are aplenty, with news apps, mini-games, scheduled reminders, and meditation suggestions at the flick of its home screen. The Nest Hub impressively comes out of the box with YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and other streaming services built-in. As well, Netflix, Disney+, Youtube TV and more are a part of its eco-system, with subscripted accounts neatly syncing up with built-in Google Cast functionality. This was often useful for when my personal laptop was tucked in another part of the house and needed, say, some Marvel or Mondo Grosso playing in the background for ambient accompaniment.

With physical improvements too, the second gen Nest Hub comes with an upgraded speaker, which promises about 50% improved audio. Its bezel looks sleeker than most devices would on most furniture, and also features Live Albums, which …….

Source: https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/google-nest-hub-second-gen-review-bandwagon-sleep-home-mini-hub-max-sensing-soli-chip

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