On Tuesday, Google revealed its new Nest Hub. The second-generation of the product will include technology that allows it to track the user’s sleep with a radar sensor. Customers can begin ordering the device on Tuesday, but it will be launched on March 30 for $99.
CNBC reports that this is Google’s most recent development to create devices that can compete with similar products sold by Amazon and Facebook. It is also the first to include the ability to track sleep.
The new-and-improved Nest Hub has a similar appearance to the original line, which was first distributed in 2018. The 7-inch screen can be used to watch videos, check the weather, receive alerts, use streaming services, turn on lights, and more. The more recent version also includes speakers that perform better and reportedly can give off 50% more bass than the original.
However, customers are likely to be most interested in its incorporation of a radar. People who use the Nest Hub can place it close to where they fall asleep and the device will walk users through the method of setting up its ability to start “Sleep Sensing.” The set-up process aids the system by aligning the radar with the place where someone physically sleeps. Google reportedly said that it can track micromovements, such as the motions someone makes while breathing, in order to check if a person is asleep. The microphones can also decide whether or not a person is snoring or coughing, while other sensors in the device can check the room’s temperature and whether they are any bright lights. All of this data is used in order to inform users of how well they slept. Once it does this, it can then give people advice, like reminding users of a certain time to start going to bed or calming down for the night.
This isn’t the first time Google has incorporated the radar sensor into its products. It was reportedly created as part of Project Soli, which was first announced in 2015. Soli was used in the Pixel 4 phone, which allowed users to change songs by placing a hand over the screen. However, it was taken out of the Pixel 5 model. Since then, it has been incorporated in a version of the Nest Thermostat, which uses it in order to check if someone is near the thermometer. The radar in the new Nest Hub can also be used to perform other actions. Users can raise their arms in order to pause music or snooze an alarm.
The new Nest Hub does not include a camera, so the device can’t watch users while they are in bed. Google also stated that the data and radar information is examined on the Nest Hub, which does not send it to the company. However, the data on how well a person sleeps is stored on the cloud in case someone wants to connect it to Google Fit, which is Google’s health app that takes information from other products like smartwatches and phones. Google recently acquired Fitbit, which also tracks health activity and sleep. The company did not state if wearing a Fitbit to bed or using the new Nest Hub is more accurate for tracking one’s sleep.
Google added that users can delete their data at any time and did not say whether or not people would need to pay for the Sleep Sensing feature in the future.