Google Nest Hub 2, the second-generation of Google’s Nest Hub, is here. As pre-order has begun and full sales begin in the next week, Residential Tech Today thought it would be a good idea for readers to know what the hype is all about.
Announced on March 16, the new Nest Hub 2 has been in the making for just about two years. The Nest Hub 2 ($99) is billed as an improved version of the original, working with the new connectivity standard created by the Project Connected Home over IP group. The goal is to simplify control of a smart home.
Related: OnTech Smart Services Expands Partnership with Google for Nest Installations
What’s New with Google Nest Hub 2?
The second-generation Nest Hub’s physical body is created from 54-percent recycled plastic. Additionally, the Hub is now equipped with the same audio technology as Nest Audio but with 50-percent more bass in the speakers. Original Nest Hub owners will notice the new audio system can easily be paused by tapping the air in front of the display, this is one of Google’s Quick Gestures.
Just like the original Nest Hub, the second-generation comes with Google Assistant but with the added benefit of an on-device machine learning chip. The chip moves data from Google’s data centers onto the device to make common demands have a faster reaction time. Note: this is an option only available in the United States. Along with the new chip, the new Nest Hub allows and shows more connected devices in one place.
The most notable new feature is that the Nest Hub can help users get a better night’s sleep. As reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine, “one in three adults don’t get enough sleep.” Without a good night’s rest, the human body can be more susceptible to illness. The Nest Hub 2 created Sleep Sensing to help users understand and improve their sleeping habits.
The Sleep Sensing feature uses Motion Sense to gather data on the person sleeping closest to the display by monitoring both movement and breathing. It can also detect disturbances like temperature or light changes in the room, snoring, and coughing with the built-in microphones and ambient light and temperature sensors, and without using a wearable. All the data collected can be seen immediately the next morning.
Sleep Sensing Optional
It is important to note that Sleep Sensing is optional and not automatic. There are privacy safeguards in place so that the user is in total control. A visual indicator can be enabled so users can know when Sleep Sensing is on. Additionally, Motion Sense can only detect motion; it cannot detect bodies or faces, and only limited data is sent to Google servers (no recordings of snoring and coughing, for instance.)
If users choose to opt-out of Sleep Sensing, the Nest Hub 2 can still assist in falling asleep and waking up better. The display will dim near bedtime, and the “Your evening” page can help users wind down after a long day with relaxing music. Waking up, the Nest Hub 2 will gradually brighten its display so that the user won’t have to struggle to open their eyes.