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How to Make Your Google / Nest Smart Speakers, Displays, and Cameras Listen for Suspicious Sounds



Google has just relaunched its Nest Aware home security plans, complete with a simplified pricing structure and a host of new features. Most important among them: the ability for Google's smart displays and speakers to alert you if they hear something suspicious.

Users who post $ 6 per month ($ 60 if paid annually) for the standard Nest Aware subscription can set up their Google Home and Nest devices to detect the sound of breaking glass and smoke detectors. The subscription covers all Nest devices in your home and includes 30 days of cloud storage for event recordings made by Nest security cameras ('Events' are recordings caused by motion or sound). A subscription of $ 1

2 per month / $ 120 per year gives you 60 days of event storage in the cloud, plus 10 days of 24/7 video recording.

It's a useful feature that essentially turns a dumb smoke detector into a smart smoke detector and matches the similar (but free) Guard feature for Amazon's Alexa-powered Echos. speakers and screens.

[ Further reading: The best smart speakers and digital assistants ]

Enabling the Nest Aware sound detection feature is easy, and there is even a 30-trial period for Nest Aware for new users and users switching from the first-generation Nest Aware service.

  google home nest aware sound detection settings Ben Patterson / IDG

The Google Home app lets you choose which of your Google Home and Nest devices listens to smoke detectors and breaking glass.

Enable sound detection for your Google Home or Nest smart device

  1. First launch the Google Home app for iOS or Android, tap Settings scroll down and tap Nest Aware .
  2. If you haven't signed up for a Nest Aware subscription yet, you could win a 30-day free trial now. Just tap the Start Trial button and follow the instructions, which will guide you through a range of important Nest Aware features, including sound detection. Meanwhile, existing users can tap Sound Detection on the Nest Aware main screen to adjust their settings, while new users should return to the Sound Detection options to adjust their preferences.
  3. On the screen Sound Detection check the boxes next to the sounds you want your Google devices to listen to. Smoke detectors and breaking glass are currently the only options.
  4. Then choose which of your Google Home and Nest devices will or will not listen for suspicious sounds. For example, you probably want to turn on sound detection for a Google screen that is near the smoke detector in your kitchen, but you can turn off sound detection for a Google Nest Mini that is in a room with no alarm or window. All your Google devices that can perform sound detection appear in a list; just turn on or off any device.
  5. If you want (and you probably should), you can set the Google Home app to send you notifications if one of your Google devices hears something suspicious. Tap Sound Detection Notifications and then enable the Smoke Alarms and Glass Breakage options.

What happens if a Google / Nest device hears a suspicious sound

  • If one of your Google Nest or Home devices hears a smoke alarm or glass breaking, you will see a warning under the heading Priority Events in your Google Home feed and you will (optionally) receive a notification. For a & # 39; in progress & # 39; sound event, the alert will appear at the top of the feed.
  • You can play the detected sound or listen in live on the device that heard the sound. If you tap the Live Listen button, the device in question announces that someone is listening. You can listen in for up to three minutes and you can also tap the Microphone button to speak.
  • Last but not least, you can ignore or remove a sound clip.

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