Google Assistant’s ‘Look and Talk’ feature works with the Nest Hub Max to allow asking questions or giving commands without having to begin with the familiar ‘Hey Google.’ This is super-convenient and speeds up interactions substantially. However, it’s switched off by default. Here’s how to enable this beneficial capability and how it works.

The Nest Hub Max, for those unfamiliar with the product, is a smart display that allows video calling and conferencing, as well as being a smart speaker that can listen and respond to questions. As a smart home hub, it makes it easy to control light bulbs, view security cameras, and manage various functions without relying on voice only.


Related: Google’s Letting You Talk To The Assistant Without Saying ‘Hey Google’

Voice control is a very convenient feature of smart hubs. However, interacting becomes tiresome when the wake phrase has to be repeated throughout the day. Google makes this a bit easier with ‘Look and Talk,’ which skips the need to say ‘Hey Google’ to wake a Nest Hub Max before using voice commands. Users can enable this feature by using the Home app on a smartphone that’s logged into the same Google ID. In the Home app, the user should tap Settings, then the Google Assistant section and Face Match. The Nest Hub Max should be selected in those settings, and then ‘Look and Talk’ can be enabled. ‘Camera sensing,’ ‘Voice Match,’ and ‘Face Match’ need to be switched on, and English should be the only language selected for this feature to work. The language restriction might change in the future to allow choosing something other than English.

Nest Hub Max ‘Look And Talk’

Google Nest Hub Max With Look And Talk

Using the Nest Hub Max’s ‘Look and Talk’ feature is quite simple, as the name implies. There are, however, some specific details to be aware of. First, it won’t work if the Nest Cam is on, such as when used on a video call or meeting. ‘Look and Talk’ is temporarily disabled if music or videos are playing. The user must be within five feet and looking at the Nest Hub Max for the device to recognize their face and accept commands without a ‘Hey Google.’

Beyond that, it should make interactions with Google Assistant much easier and save a fair amount of repetition of the wake words. The Nest Hub Max gives feedback to help users know what it’s doing. It shows waving gray dots when it’s ready for a voice command without ‘Hey Google,’ then changes to colorful lines when listening and spinning dots when processing. Colored dots that shake side to side indicate it didn’t understand. With a bit of practice, Google’s Nest Hub Max should become much easier to use with ‘Look and Talk.’