Google Testing Motion-Activated Smart Displays Which Don’t Need A Wake Word
Google is conducting internal tests which could potentially eliminate the need for users to say “Hey Google” to wake its Nest Hub smart displays.
According to reports by Android Central, the tech giant is experimenting with a new feature that will allow the smart device to simply sense user presence and will proactively listen for commands without the need for a wake word.
The feature has been reportedly nicknamed “Blue Steel” internally.
Tech tipster Jan Boromeusz released a video showcasing the Blue Steel feature. In the tape, Boromeusz moved his face closer to a Nest Hub Max screen which instantly woke the Google Assistant.
He was able to use simple commands such as “Open YouTube” to control the smart display without saying “Hey Google”.
There is speculation the Nest Hub Max device will use its ultrasound sensing which will sense a person’s presence and automatically start listening for voice commands.
The device could also use its camera’s Face Match feature to identify which user is speaking.
If Google releases this feature, it could raise a number of privacy concerns, Currently, smart speakers and displays only listen and collect data after being activated with the wake word.
And if movement-activated Google Assistant accidentally responded to commands which weren’t meant for the smart display, it could collect and store data which users do not intend for it to hear.