At Google I/O back in May, Google announced a feature for the Nest Hub Max called “Look and Talk.” The idea behind it was to allow users to interact with their Nest Hub without needing to say “OK, Google” and instead just looking at the device within a certain range. After now enabling this on my kitchen unit, I can say without a doubt that this feature is awesome.
The Nest Hub Max has a full-blown Nest Cam built into it, so that’s why Google is using this specific device to kick off the life of this “Look and Talk” idea. Thanks to Google Assistant on a Nest Hub being trained to recognize your face with Face Match, that Nest Cam can notice you are nearby and then start listening in case you have a command.
I turned the feature on earlier in the week when Google announced it was widely rolling out and I’ve used it numerous times. My kitchen unit is probably the best suited for this, as I can simply lean over from one corner of my small kitchen space to the other and fire up the Assistant. The simple tasks like setting a timer, managing multiple timers, asking for a recipe, adjusting the temperature in my house, looking at my front door camera, or calling my wife on Duo, I can now do with the dirtiest of hands and without having to shout that damn keyword.
This may sound like the simplest solution not worthy of such praise, but man, I’m one of those people who absolutely hates saying “Hey, Google.” Like, if I have to say that keyword to get something done, I will almost always just reach for my phone instead and either swipe from a corner to fire up Assistant or I just do the task manually from an app. I don’t know what it is, but that keyword is the worst. This has removed my need for it, plus it actually does save time in the kitchen when a matter of seconds can take you from perfectly cooked to burnt.
If you own a Nest Hub Max and want to try this, it’s really easy to setup.
- First, you’ll need to make sure Face Match is setup. Find that setup by opening the Google Home app on your phone, tap the Settings button, then “Google Assistant” within the Features section, and then choose “Face Match.” The steps to setup in there mostly just ask that you scan your face from side to side a couple of times.
- Once you’ve setup Face Match, you’ll be able to toggle Face Match on or off from the same page you just set it up. You should also see a toggle for “Look and Talk” in there. Toggling this on gives you the powers I described above.
- Note: If you are having issues and it doesn’t seem to be working, retraining my face fixed it.
Once setup, every time you come within 5-10 feet of your Nest Hub Max, you’ll see 4 black (or white) dots appear in the top of your display when it recognizes you and is waiting for a command. Should you fire off a command, you’ll see the familiar Assistant-colored dots appear and react. It’s magical, I’m telling you.
Of course, for the privacy-focused folks around, this may sound like your Nest Hub Max is constantly spying on you. I don’t know what to tell you there. I’m not here to change your mind on what Google is or isn’t watching – I’m just telling you that this feature works great for me when I’m in the kitchen doing that work.
For more help on setting up Look and Talk, hit up this Google Support page.