At the start of 2021, we reported that Google is working on a new Nest Hub that will use Soli radar for sleep tracking. 9to5Google can now confirm other details about this upcoming Smart Display, including its design, sleep tracking, and other hardware features.
During the October 2018 announcement of its first Smart Display, Google said it “spent countless hours on the design of Hub.” In May 2019, a bigger ‘Max’ version was announced, with Google retaining the “floating display” design.
We incorporated soft, rounded corners and premium materials, including our own custom fabrics. You can also choose from four beautiful colors to complement any room. The elegant floating display is big enough so that you can see things even from across the room, but it’s small enough to fit in any space in your home.
For its third product in the Nest Hub family, sources tell us that Google is keeping the same design language of an angled screen attached to an oblong, fabric-covered base. Similarly, Google is only tweaking the available colors. Gray, black, and sand/pink remain, but it will be joined by a light blue that replaces the original Hub’s Aqua and should be similar to the Nest Audio’s “Sky.”
This decision to maintain the design from generation-to-generation was last seen by the Home Mini to Nest Mini upgrade. Like that iteration, the new Nest Hub will feature improved audio quality, as well as listening thanks to three — instead of two — far-field microphones that match the Mini and Audio. Our previous comparison of all Google speakers found today’s Nest Hub to be very average for music.
The biggest change is of course the presence of Soli radar. Like on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in 2019, there will be gesture control on the new Nest Hub. The phones allowed you to swipe to skip/jump tracks, while an air tap would play/pause, for better hands-free usage.
Of course, it will primarily be used for sleep tracking, which 9to5Google first reported about in January. We’ve since learned that this feature will tie-in with Google Fit.
Today, Fit is available on Android, Wear OS, and iOS. It tracks your steps and exercise, while also being able to log heart rate, weight, blood pressure, and other metrics from compatible devices. It makes sense for the new Nest Hub to integrate with Google’s existing service for health data. There is some crossover with Fitbit, but development on this Smart Display long predates the Fitbit acquisition.
On the Assistant front, Google has been preparing to show “Proactive health & fitness results” on Smart Displays since the start of this year. This feature has yet to go live, and will presumably do so on the new Nest Hub.
Google plans to announce the new Nest Hub sooner than later with similar pricing to the current model. The company declined to comment on this story.
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