Smart displays like the Google Nest Hub Max can be a great way to stay in contact with your family and friends, with the ability to make video calls and display photos of your loved ones.
However, these clever gadgets aren’t always easy to use for those of us who are less tech-savvy – and that’s something Google is hoping to address by testing a simpler interface on residents in seven Washington State retirement communities.
According to a blog post, the company sent residents nearly 1,000 Google Nest Hub Max smart displays, all furnished with simpler controls and shortcuts to make staying in touch with family easier.
These changes include a pre-loaded shortlist of contacts, so users can launch Google Duo video calls more quickly, as well as new ‘What can you do?’ cars, that “act like shortcuts for showing weather reports, setting alarms, or playing relaxing sounds”.
Google says that “all of this was done in a way that preserves privacy for the residents, as the devices are managed on Nest’s fleet management system and run in a ‘signed out’ mode, meaning no audio is stored and all activity is anonymous”.
Smart displays for all
It’s not clear how the results of this study will affect Google Nest users around the world. In theory, we could see new interfaces that are generated based on your requirements, making the smart displays more intuitive to use and more personalized – and in turn, encouraging a larger number of people to use Google Assistant.
Speaking to Engadget, a Google spokesperson said that “a new experience will eventually roll out that won’t be exactly the same, but based on the same goal”.
So, your Google smart display could be undergoing some user-friendly changes in the near future – for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.