In an interesting update, Google accidentally enabled a feature for its smart speakers allowing it to listen to the sounds of objects around them. The feature, enabled through a recent software update for Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Nest Mini (2nd gen), has now been reversed by the company.
According to a report by Protocol, Reddit user Brazedowl recently received a notification on his phone from his smart speaker. It said that a smoke detector in his home had gone off while he was cooking.
It’s quite unusual for Google Home devices to respond to passive sound around them as Google’s smart speakers are said to to listen to users only via its active ‘wake words’ – such as “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google”. Surprised by the development, Brazedowl wrote: “Google just made my dumb smoke detectors smart. Pretty rad.”
The report further added that Google’s recent $450 million investment — to acquire a 6.6% stake in home security provider ADT, may be a sign of things to come for Google. It is said to hint at the company’s secret home security superpower as the partnership pairs ADT’s more than 20,000 professionals together with Google’s suite of home hardware, manufacturing technology and vertical technology stack.
The future ADT + Google helpful home security solution is expected to advance smart home offerings and attract new consumers seeking end-to-end smart home service and trusted security.