Google’s Nest Hub Max smart display hopes to to take on the Echo Show

Nest Home Hub announcement
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Google has a new device to compete with the Amazon Echo Show. After announcing that it would unify its smart devices under the Nest brand name, the company revealed the Nest Hub Max, a smart home display that is part video chat device, part home security camera, and part smart home hub, with some smart speaker features thrown in for good measure. It will be available from Google later in 2019 for $229.

The Nest Hub Max features a sizable 10-inch screen that can display any information you want. Google called it a “kitchen TV” for when you want to stream some entertainment while working in the kitchen. It can also serve as a platform to display any information from your daily agenda to the ingredients of the meal you’re making. It’s also a sizable screen that can host your video communications with friends and family — and display pictures like a digital photo frame when you aren’t using it.

In addition to the big display, the Nest Hub Max also features a wide-angle lens camera that you can use to communicate. You can call just about anyone and have a video chat, and the camera also acts as a new point of entry with the device. Users will be able to set up a “Face Match” so the Nest Hub Max can recognize multiple users and make sure it brings up the right personalized information. A similar “Voice Match” feature is also available to recognize users by their distinct voice.

Google put a priority on privacy throughout the Google I/O keynote, and the Nest Hub Max was no exception. The company made sure to note that the camera performed all of its face matchings on the device, encrypting a user’s information and avoiding sharing it whenever possible. The device also comes with a physical killswitch on the back that electronically disconnects the camera and microphone to ensure privacy in your home.

Speaking of privacy, the Nest Hub can also act as a smart home security camera, the same way you might expect a standard Nest camera to operate. It can monitor activity in your home, letting you check in from your phone at any time or get notifications when unexpected activity occurs. In addition, the device can also control all of your other connected smart devices. It pulls together most internet-connected appliances and services to give you complete control over your smart home, from lights to locks and more.

With the introduction of the Nest Hub Max, Google is cutting the price of its newly renamed Nest Hub (previously the Google Home Hub) from $149 to $129. In addition to the price drop, the device will launch in 12 new markets with support for nine new languages.

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