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How to make your Google / Nest smart speaker, display, and camera listen to suspicious sounds

How to make your Google / Nest smart speaker, display, and camera listen to suspicious sounds

Thanks to Google’s new Nest Aware package, Google Home and Nest devices can now monitor the sound of smoke alarms and broken glass.

Google has just launched a Nest Aware home security plan, complete with a simplified pricing structure and a number of new features. Chief among them: the ability for Google’s smart display and speakers to remind you if they hear something suspicious.

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Users who wet their $ 6 per month ($ 60 if paid annually) for the standard Conscious Aware plan will be able to set their Google Home and Nest devices to detect the sound of broken glass and smoke alarms. Subscriptions cover all Nest devices in your home and include 30 days of cloud storage for event records made by Nest security cameras (“events” are recordings that are triggered by movement or sound). The $ 12 package per month / $ 120 per year gives you 60 days of event storage in the cloud, plus 10 days of video recording 24/7.

This is a nice feature that basically turns stupid smoke detectors into smart, and matches the same (but free) Keeper feature for the Alexa Echo Amazon speaker and display.

Enabling the Nest Aware voice detection feature is easy, and there is even a 30 day Nest Aware trial for new users and those who move from the first generation Nest Aware service.

How to enable voice detection for Google Home or Nest smart devices

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  1. First, run the Google Home app for iOS or Android, tap Settings, then scroll down and tap Nest Conscious.
  2. If you haven’t registered for the Nest Aware package, now is your chance to get a 30 day free trial. Just tap the Start Trial button and follow the instructions, which will guide you through a series of key Nest Aware features including voice detection. Meanwhile, existing users can tap Voice detection from the main Nest Aware screen to adjust their settings, while new users must be dipped back in the Sound detection options to adjust their preferences.
  3. On the Voice Detection screen, check the box next to the sound you want your Google device to hear. Smoke and glass alarms are currently the only choice.
  4. Next, choose which Google Home and Nest devices will – or will not – listen for suspicious sounds. For example, you might want to turn on voice detection for a Google display that is close to a smoke alarm in your kitchen, but you might turn off voice detection for Google Nest Mini in a room without an alarm or window. All your Google devices capable of detecting sound will appear in the list; turn each device on or off.
  5. If you like (and as they should), you can set the Google Home application to send you a notification if one of your Google devices hears something suspicious. Tap Sound detection notification, then switch the Smoke alarm and Glass breaker options.

What will happen when a Google / Nest device hears a suspicious sound

  • If one of your Google Nest or Home devices hears a smoke alarm or broken glass, all see a warning under the Priority event title in your Google Home feed and (optionally) get a notification. For “ongoing” sound events, a warning will appear at the top of the feed.
  • You can play back the detected sound or listen directly to the device you are listening to. If you tap the Listen button directly, the device in question will announce that someone is listening. You can listen for up to three minutes, and you can also tap the Microphone button to talk.
  • Finally, you can ignore the sound clip or delete it.

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