Among updates to Android, its mobile phone offerings, and new advancements in neural network learning, Google took the time to unveil its update to the Google Home Hub during Google I/O 2019. The new smart device, known as the Nest Home Max, includes a bigger screen than its predecessor, as well an a built-in camera to facilitate video calls and face recognition.
In a race for dominance in the smart home market against Amazon and their Alexa-enabled products, Google continues to improve its hardware offerings. The company has chosen to re-brand such devices under the Nest name, with the older Google Home Hub being usurped by the Nest Home Max. The Nest Home Max packs a 10-inch screen in the place of the Home Hub’s 7-inch offering, as well as a built-in camera.
Google aims for the camera to be the centerpiece of the experience, offering video calling between Google devices and calls to Alexa-enabled devices via the Duo app. The camera also enables face recognition for multiple users in the home, with the Nest Home Max changing its display to offer personalized information depending on who is interacting with it. The camera also works double-duty as a security monitoring device when the owner is away from home. The camera feed can be accessed remotely from mobile devices and PCs on demand for piece of mind, or if you simply need to check in on your dog.
To ease security concerns with having an internet-connected camera in the home, the Nest Max Duo packs in a hardware kill switch for the camera and microphone, including an on-screen indicator that reminds the user of the disabled hardware. Like the older Home Hub, the Nest Home Max can control your lights, Nest thermostat, and give you the latest news, weather, and social media updates via voice commands.
The Nest Home Max is designed to make use of the Google Assistant improvements slated for later this year that improve recognition accuracy and speed thanks to the voice recognition models being moved directly onto the device. Google is selling the idea of enhanced privacy now that voice commands will no longer need to be fed through their own data centers.