Google makes 'easier' Nest Hub for senior citizens: Here's how
In a world plagued by COVID-19, video-calling apps like Google Duo, Meet, Zoom are the only tools keeping us connected. But, the issue is, not everyone is tech-savvy enough to use modern tools and keep in touch with their friends/family. The complaint particularly comes from senior citizens and has led Google to develop a new 'easier' experience of Nest Hub for help.
The social isolation stemming from COVID-19 can be hard for anyone, but its biggest impact is on the mental and emotional well-being of senior citizens, who have been stuck in their homes for months, unable to meet their kids, grandchildren. This loneliness can be really problematic, particularly in cases when the person in question struggles with gadgets, virtual meeting apps et al.
To tackle this problem and help people feel a little less isolated, Google has started distributing Nest Hub Max to residents in seven Merrill Gardens retirement communities in Washington state. The company is giving nearly 1,000 units of the camera-equipped smart display, all of which have been configured with a new simplified interface which makes using the device easier than ever.
The new Nest Hub Max's interface comes pre-loaded with contacts for audio/video calling and shows card-like shortcuts for quickly accessing a range of Google Assistant-powered features. You can, for instance, tap on "What's the weather?" card for weather updates or "Play the music/news" cards for instant access to your favorite music or the latest news from recognized media outlets.
Google said in a blog post that the feature is handled in such a way that the privacy of the users remains fully maintained. All the devices given away are being managed on Nest's fleet management system and are running on a 'signed-out' mode, where no audio is stored. Other data isn't associated with the users' identity or Google account, either.
Even though this interface is just being piloted with select communities, it could be critical to boosting the adoption of the Nest Hub series. Many people are not tech-savvy enough to get the most out of Google Assistant, and this could be the key to changing that. A Google spokesperson has already said that an easy-to-use experience based on this will be rolled-out publicly.