Google’s new Nest Hub wants to monitor your sleep at night

Jon Oleaga




The supply of smart home speakers has not stopped growing in recent years. When purchasing one we must take into account several aspects, the first is the format, with screen or without screen, depending on our needs. In a kitchen the screen can be very useful to follow a recipe, but it is not so useful if the speaker is going to be in the bathroom. On the other hand, if the main objective of the speaker is to listen to music, we must take into account the sound quality and opt for the highest-end speakers for large rooms. But, probably the most important feature that will determine the manufacturer to choose will be with which assistant we are most comfortable, and, above all, which one offers us greater compatibility with the rest of the devices in the home.

In this smart speaker market, clearly differentiating yourself from the competition is not easy. Google has decided to give his new Nest Hub, its proposal for a speaker with a seven-inch screen, a unique feature that we will not be able to find in any other device: the ability to accurately analyze and monitor sleep quality. 20% of the first-generation Nest Hubs ended up on the bedside table, so it’s only natural that Google would try to improve its profits when it is close to the bed.

Google has taken the “Soli” technology that we already saw in its Pixel phones, which created a radar field around the phone to capture changes in the environment, and has applied it to the Nest Hub. That way, the speaker can analyze sleep quality without the need for a camera to continuously record, which could pose a privacy issue. Although the data never actually leaves the Nest Hub and this functionality can always be turned off, no one wants to have a camera pointed at the bed.

The high-resolution spectrogram that Soli generates is more accurate than what other medical-grade devices are capable of, according to the US technology company. Controls both movements while we sleep, as well as breaths per minute, snoring, coughing, and room temperature to create a quasi-professional polysomnography study. It is true that smart watches have been analyzing sleep for years, but the reality is that most of their users forget or are uncomfortable sleeping with the watch on. Nest Hub intends for sleep analysis to occur without any friction. But not everything ends there, every four nights the speaker creates a sleep report, and gives recommendations to improve it, such as advice on routines to be consistent with the rest schedules, and every 14 days it reviews its compliance with another report.

The sleep analysis functionality is free until the end of the year, from then on, it will be paid. The Nest Hub is only capable of analyzing a person’s sleep at a time, so couples who want to use it together will need two independent devices.

Google has added more functionality to the speaker that it finds useful in the bedroom. For example, before the alarm goes off, the screen turns on little by little, simulating the sunrise to make waking up more pleasant. Great care has also been taken so that the screen brightness does not disturb during sleep hours with notifications.

The new Nest Hub also improves on the sound, with 50% more bass for listening to music or watching movies, and adds a third microphone to better capture the voice. In addition, it makes it easier to control the rest of the devices in the home. The colors in which it is sold are chalk and charcoal, and are made with 54% recycled material. Nest Hub It will be available from May 5 in Spain at a price of € 99.99.

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