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Google may have solved the Nest Hub’s biggest weakness

Google is adding new tracking sleep features to its Nest Hub smart display, which uses a radar sensor to track movements during the night as an alternative to a wearable sensor.

In a post on The Keyword blog, Google said it was adding sleep stage tracking. This is possible due to improved algorithms to identify light, deep, REM and awake periods, which will be displayed on the sleep quality and duration screens.

Google also says there are improved sound detection tools, which will only surface the snores and coughs and, well, other noises that emanate from your person.

There’s also going to be an “other sounds” timeline that will show other loud noises and other coughs and snores that emanated from outside your “calibrated sleeping area”.

Perhaps most significantly though, the Nest Hub is getting audio meditations via the Calm app, which is one of the market leaders in the space with content from narrators like LeBron James and Matthew McConaughey.

Calm Premium subscribers will get access to the full library, but there are some free tracks too.

“To try meditation content from Calm, you can either say, “Hey Google, show me meditations from Calm” or “Hey Google, start a meditation.”” Google writes in the blog post.

The original sleep tracking skills, and many of these improvements are possible due to Soli radar sensor in the second-generation Nest Hub. It doesn’t use a camera, which would be a little bit weird. Initial reviews of the tech found the sleep tracking to be mediocre, but perhaps these improvements can push the feature to the next level.

Our reviewer wrote: “Inside, you get the Google Soli motion sensor, which gives you gesture control to manage media playback, and this enables the new Sleep Sensing technology, which will tell you how well you slept. In practice, positioning the display properly can be hard if you don’t have the right features, and Sleep Sensing wasn’t that useful.”

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