Google formalizes the arrival of the 2nd generation Nest Hub which replaces the first. If nothing changes from an external point of view, it is inside that you have to go and see: there are many changes with new components that allow to offer a renewed experience.
Nest Hub is Google’s speaker equipped with a screen. So far, there are two: the Nest Hub with a 7-inch screen and the Nest Hub Max with a Nest camera and a 10-inch screen. Google has just renewed the Nest Hub in a second generation which introduces big changes.
The Nest Hub responds to your Google Assistant requests, also allows you to display content thanks to the integration of the Chromecast function, including Disney +. The device does not change aesthetically. As rumor has it, Google has improved the audio quality, but that’s not what to remember.
An integrated Thread chip
After the Apple HomePod Mini, it’s the turn of the Google Nest Hub to take advantage of the Thread. The Thread is a protocol designed by a consortium made up of Google (Nest), Samsung, Qualcomm, NXF / Freescale, Somfy, ARM, but also Apple.
It has been developed for several years, but it has not yet found its success and it should not be long. Like ZigBee, it uses the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and allows you to create a low-consumption mesh network for connected objects. Its difference, compared to ZigBee, is that it uses IP addresses for each device in the manner of 6LoWPAN (IPv6 Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks).
This feature is important, it means that this protocol offers access to the cloud as well as AES encryption. This offers greater compatibility, but above all a high level of security. Only specifically authenticated devices can join the network. Finally, it also offers more responsiveness than bulbs connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Google specifies that the new Nest Hub integrates, like the Nest Mini and the Nest Audio, a chip dedicated to AI: machine learning to speed up Google Assistant audio requests. For now, the Nest Hub is taking advantage of these new superpowers only in the United States.
Soli to monitor the quality of your sleep
Google could have added a security camera like the Hub Max to it, but the Nest Hub is mostly used in the bedroom on the nightstand. So they had the idea to recycle the Soli chip that we found on the Pixel 4. The Nest Hub can therefore be controlled by gestures, without requiring a camera. But the most interesting is the arrival of a sleep tracking function.
The second-generation Nest Hub can therefore track your sleep when it’s installed near the bed. It is only able to track a person’s sleep, however it uses microphones and the ambient light sensor, in addition to the built-in temperature sensor, to track your breathing and movements at night. It can detect disturbances, such as coughing, snoring as well as changes in light and temperature in the room. The goal: to detect what can disturb your sleep.
This function is associated with the Google Fit application, available on Android and iOS, to consult a summary of the night in addition to some information on your health and well-being.
Google ensures that all of this data is used exclusively for tracking your sleep and that this function is optional. You decide if you want to activate it, and a visual indicator is clearly visible on the screen when it is. According to Google, Motion Sense only detects movement, not bodies or faces. Your snoring and coughing audio data is processed only at the device level and is not sent to Google servers.
You can try the 2nd Gen Nest Hub’s sleep tracking feature at no cost until next year. Google is also considering integrating it with Fitbit’s sleep tracking features to provide an improved experience in the future. Note, however, that you will have to pay a subscription afterwards… which is not detailed at the moment.
Gen 2 Nest Hub pricing and availability
The 2nd generation Nest Hub will be sold at 99.99 euros. It is available for pre-order today, in Pebble and Charcoal colors.