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Here's how the Google Nest Hub family is using ultrasound

The Google Nest Hub family already uses ultrasound for turning on the screen, but it's now being used in another cool way.

Published onDecember 5, 2019

Google Nest Hub Max

The Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max both offer ultrasound capabilities, being used to detect when you’re close so the screen can light up. But Google has detailed how it’s now using the tech in another neat way.

The search giant confirmed on its blog that it now uses on-device ultrasound technology to detect how near or far the person is to the Nest Hub device. From here, the Hub is able to adjust its UI appropriately. It’s a pretty smart move, and one Google says was inspired by people with vision challenges.

“If you’re close, the screen will show you more details and touch controls, and when you’re further away, the screen changes to show only the most important information in larger text,” Google elaborates.

Information currently shown when you’re further away includes the weather, commute times, and timers. But starting this week, the devices will also show reminders, appointments, and alerts.

This isn’t the only cool smart display feature we’ve seen in recent months, as Amazon’s Echo Show series gained the ability to identify household items. This is accomplished by simply holding the item in question up to the Echo Show’s screen and asking Alexa to identify it.