If you own or you’re planning to get a Nest Hub or a Nest Hub Max, Google is rolling out a new update to your devices that will enable you to have ultrasonic sensing features. In other words, your smart displays will be able to determine how close or far away you are from the device and then act accordingly based on your proximity. What you see on the screen will dynamically change according to your proximity to the Nest-branded displays.
According to Android Central, the ultrasonic sensing feature has begun to roll out to both the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max. This will allow devices to dynamically adapt to your proximity to the device. For example, if you set a timer, the controls will show up on the screen if it senses you’re near enough to physically control it. But as you start to back away from the device, the controls will disappear and the timer itself will get larger. Other things the ultrasonic sensing feature can affect are expansion of weather cards, showing controls during media playback, etc.
According to Android Central, the Nest Hub Max will be able to do a bit more since it has a built-in camera while the Nest Hub does not have. That’s why Google is using ultrasonic sensing that sends out high-frequency chirps (don’t worry, it’s pet-safe) and uses their built-in mics as well for feedback when someone is near. So even if you disable the camera on the Nest Hub Max, it can still determine a person’s proximity.
However, the Nest Hub will not be able to give you personalized recommendations since it doesn’t have a camera to recognize you, unlike the Nest Hub Max which can use face detection with its camera and therefore send you recommendations according to who is near the device. Well, of course, it depends if the person’s Google account is synced to the device. If it’s a “stranger”, no personalized recommendation for you.
The update is already rolling out for both the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max. If you own either device, tell us how this proximity determining thing is affecting (or not affecting) your interactions with the smart displays.