You might soon be able to summon Assistant on your Nest Hub Max by just looking at it
The easiest and most convenient way to trigger Google Assistant on your phone and smart speaker is the “Hey Google” hotword. But it looks like Google is working on an even better way to activate Assistant.
Our friends over at 9to5Google have discovered a string of code in the latest Google app beta that hints at a new feature called “Look and Talk.” The aptly named feature will supposedly let you summon Assistant on your smart display just by looking at it. Google has been working on this feature for some time now. Back in 2020, a Nest Hub Max user managed to get their hands on a hidden feature called “Blue Steel,” which lets you gaze at the device to trigger Google Assistant. According to 9to5Google, Blue Steel (a reference to the movie Zoolander) could launch soon under the name “Look and Talk.”
Look and Talk uses the camera on your smart display, allowing you to “look at the display from up to 5ft away to talk to Google.” Google mentions that all processing is done locally on your device and that video is never sent to the cloud. In addition to the camera, the feature will also use Face Match and Voice Match, “so Look and Talk will work just for you.”
How it works: Your device relies on camera sensing and analyzes your video to determine if you want to activate your Assistant. Assistant may activate when you didn’t intend it to, if it incorrectly detects you want its help. Your video is processed on-device and isn’t sent to Google servers.
Look and Talk could debut on the Google Nest Hub Max, as it’s the only device from Google to offer a built-in camera. It’s also possible Google could be developing this functionality for its upcoming detachable Nest Hub. It’s unclear when Google plans to officially launch Look and Talk. With Google I/O 2022 just around the corner, it’s possible we might learn more about this upcoming feature at the big event.