According to reports, Nest, the smart home division of Google, is expanding into the field of health technology, launching a function to track sleep patterns. While providing potential new sources of income, this feature may also cause people to worry about privacy.
Google released the second-generation product of the Nest Hub smart display, adding the “Sleep Sensing” feature, which can monitor the breathing and movement of the person sleeping next to the smart screen, without the need for a camera, And don’t need to wear the device.
Through the built-in microphone of the Nest Hub, as well as ambient light and temperature sensors, the system can also detect interference such as coughing and snoring, as well as changes in light and temperature. Over time, it will also learn about the user’s sleep patterns and give personalized recommendations.
Ashton Udall, senior product manager at Google Nest, said that until next year, “sleep perception” will be available for free. This means that fees may be charged for this service in the future.
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The nest is a pioneer in smart home technology and was acquired by Google for US$3.2 billion in 2014. Since then, Nest has struggled with the release of some new products, lost its founder, and repeatedly encountered privacy issues.
Today, Google talked about the impact of Nest’s new “sleep perception” feature on privacy. The system relies on a low-energy radar technology called “Soli” for tracking, which can be disabled.
In addition, the user’s snoring and coughing audio will be processed on the Nest Hub device instead of being sent to Google’s servers. In addition, the new product has a hardware switch that can physically disable the microphone. Users can also view and delete their sleep data at any time. Google emphasizes that this information will not be used for personalized advertising.
At present, Google, Amazon and Apple have all developed smart displays and smart speakers to further extend their platforms to consumers’ homes and lives. Google also acquired wearable device manufacturer Fitbit and said that in the future it will seek to integrate Nest and Fitbit’s sleep tracking feature.
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