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No more 'Hey Google' — how to activate Look and Talk on your Nest Hub Max

Google Nest Hub Max
(Image credit: Google)

At Google I/O 2022, not a lot of attention was given to its smart home platforms, but it did add a new feature to the Google Nest Hub Max, which will keep you from having to say "Hey, Google" every time you want to use the device. 

The feature, called "Look and Talk," is now rolling out widely. Here's how it works, and how to use it on your Nest Hub Max.

What is "Look and Talk?"

 As the name suggests, "Look and Talk" will allow users to simply look at the Nest Hub Max to activate Google Assistant. It does away with the need to say “Hey Google." If turned on, you can just turn and look at the Nest Hub Max to command Google Assistant. 

The feature allows the onboard camera to detect your glance and activates the microphone for commands, without the need for the “Hey Google” prompt. 

You have to have the feature turned on in your settings and you have to be at least 5 feet away for it to work. Google also reiterates that Face Match and Voice Match have to be manually enabled, so it works smoothly.

How to turn on "Look and Talk"

 “Look and talk” is disabled by default. To turn it on, go into your Google Home app, tap on Nest Hub Max and then to the device’s settings. Go into “Recognition & sharing” and the feature will be under the “Face match” menu. Toggle it on to enable the feature. 

Now every time you look at your Nest Hub Max, be ready to command it because it is listening to you. 

Note: If you're worried about privacy, there is a manual switch that blocks the camera and the mics on the Nest Hub Max. However, doing so will disable Look and Talk.

There's more

Google is also planning to bring Quick Phrases from the Google Pixel 6 to the Nest Hub Max. This means for some preset commands, you won’t have to use the “Hey Google” hot word beforehand. Some of the phrases include — set or cancel a timer or alarm; ask for the time; turn the lights on or off; dim or brighten the lights; ask for the weather.

Google says you will have to have Voice Match enabled and you will have to select which phrases you want Google Assistant to listen for, for this to work. 

This feature doesn’t seem to have rolled out just yet, although we can expect it to come to our Nest Hub Max this summer. 

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.