OK Google, help me sleep better? The new Nest Hub smart display has built-in tech to help
The newest version of Google’s Nest Hub promises better sound – and better sleep.
Google’s second-generation 7-inch smart video display ($99.99, available for pre-order today, in stores March 30) has a sleeker, edgeless glass display and has been improved to deliver 50% more bass, the company says.
But consumers having trouble sleeping may be more drawn to its new built-in Sleep Sensing technology that uses Google’s Soli motion detection chip – first used in the Pixel 4 smartphone – to know how long you slept. The Soli-driven radar does not identify specific bodies or faces, but will watch your movements and breathing, as well as track when you snore or cough to build a pattern of your sleep – and what could be interrupting it.
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The new Google Nest Hub ($99.99) has a Your Evening page to make it easier for preparing for nighttime. It will dim and play relaxing sounds as bedtime approaches. Its Sleep Sensing technology will also build a pattern of your sleep. (Photo: Google Inc.)
Google’s consumer research found about 20% of Nest Hub displays owned by consumers are in bedrooms.
“When we talked to people about what they most wanted help with, they resoundingly responded with ‘Can you help me get better quality of sleep?’ That’s what people were really interested in,” Ashton Udall, senior Nest product manager, told USA TODAY.
The Nest Hub’s Sleep Sensing technology was tested over the equivalent of 100,000 nights of sleepers and compared favorably to sleep research results and fitness trackers Google says.
Tracking your sleep
When you set up the Nest Hub for Sleep Sensing, the device learns where you sleep and creates a “tracking bubble” that focuses on your sleeping and avoids any other person who might be sleeping in the bed.
In the morning, the Nest Hub will have a sleep report that tells you how long you slept, how restful your sleep was, and compare it to your schedule. Nest Hub users must opt-in for Sleep Sensing and it can be turned off or paused at any time.
The data is not personally identifiable, however some data is sent to the cloud to create sleep reports. For instance, two weeks of sleep data can be used to offer schedule suggestions. The sleep data is also available in the Google Fit app.
The new Google Nest Hub ($99.99) handles entertainment apps such as YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, and see Google Photos. Built-in Sleep Sensing technology will also build a pattern of your sleep if you use the new smart display by your bedside.. (Photo: Google Inc.)
“We are trying to focus on the areas of sleep that are important for sleep health but also are actionable, so we can empower people with information they can actually do something about it (with),” Udall said.
All Nest Hub purchasers get free use of the Sleep Sensing through the rest of the year.
As with the original Nest Hub, released in October 2018, then called the Google Home Hub – and the Nest Hub Max ($229) with a 10-inch video display and camera released a year later – you can use entertainment apps such as YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, and see Google Photos. With other Nest-compatible smart home devices including smart plugs, you can use the speaker to ask Google Assistant to dim lights, change the thermostat and lock doors.
There are other new Smart Home features meant to help you wind down at home. The display automatically dims as bedtime nears and a “Your Evening” page serves as an all-in-one page to do all the smart activities such as setting your security alarm, and will also play calming sounds. The display also gradually brightens as morning arrives. If you want some extra sleep, you can snooze the alarm with a Quick Gesture, which also uses the motion sensing technology.
Oh, and there’s also a new color for the speaker, mist, a color especially chosen for those looking to put it on the bedside.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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