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You'll never need to say 'Hey Google' again with this Nest Hub update

Talking to Google Assistant on Nest Hub using Look and Talk
(Image credit: Google)

Are you sick of saying "Hey Google" every single time you want to speak to Google Assistant? Thanks to a new feature simply called "Look and Talk," you won't ever need to again. As it sounds, all you'll need to do is look at the screen of your Nest smart display (opens in new tab) and begin speaking. It works with all the usual commands you normally use.

In order to use this new feature — which was announced at Google I/O 2022 (opens in new tab) — you'll have to enroll your Nest Hub Max (opens in new tab) in the program, which can be done through the Google Home app. Once enabled, the camera on the Nest Hub Max will watch out for someone to look at it, then identify the person based on Google's existing Face Match and Voice Match technology.

Google says its using Real Tone technology that it launched with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab) which ensures that folks with all ranges of skin tones are correctly viewed and identified by the Nest Hub Max's camera. All this happens while you talk, so there's no added delay to the conversation.

Even if you're not comfortable with the camera seeing your face at all times, Google is rolling out more quick phrases that can be said without saying "Hey Google" first, as well. New quick phrases include commands like "turn on the hallway lights" or "set a timer for 10 minutes," as Google uses for a few examples.

Speaking of conversation, Google also showed off its next-generation language engine which can now better understand natural language elements like "um," "uh," and other moments when humans have a hard time stringing together a sentence without taking a break. Currently, Assistant tends to answer early if someone pauses, but existing and future products with powerful onboard processors like Google Tensor (opens in new tab) will be able to wait for you to finish a thought before answering.


Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu