Google hotel Nest Hub

Google Assistant is helping out at select hotel rooms in the US and UK

We may not be staying in a lot of hotels right now, but Google wants its smart assistant there when we start booking again to take extra towel requests, fast check outs and more

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Instead of calling the front desk for your extra pillow request, or even a late night room service order, you may be asking Google Assistant instead. At least that's the hope of Google and some select hotels across the U.S. and the UK, and why they're placing the Nest Hub display in rooms to start fielding guest needs.

Services are not endless. Google Assistant, of course, is not a physical person but Google's smart voice assistant. That means it can't perform a turn down before you go to sleep, nor leave a chocolate by the pillow. But it can serve up the local weather, play music and even an exercise video, deliver details about local tourists spots, and even tell you if the local coffee shop is still open near your hotel. You can also ask Google Assistant and the guidelines around Covid-19 where you're visiting from quarantine rules to mask-wearing to contact tracing.

Nest Hub in a hotelGuests will be able to ask the Nest Hub questions about the specific hotel, and also make requestsGoogle

Privacy issues are something people sometimes consider when using smart home devices like the Nest Hub. The device, like many voice-enabled smart home products, works by listening for its wake word, and then responding to people's requests. But people will not be signing on to the hotel room devices with their personal account, notes Google, and the Nest Hub display doesn't have a camera, unlike the Nest Hub Max. More keenly, the physical microphone can be switched off if people choose.

You can certainly bring your own smart devices to a hotel and set them up in your room. But these won't be integrate specifically with the location, and hotel, where you're staying. With the new set-up, hotels will be specifically tying some of Google Assistant's features into the services they offer their guests.Google gives examples which include asking for a wakeup call, requesting extra towels, even finishing a fast check out from the room so they don't have to stand in line downstairs in the lobby.

The smart displays are already installed in some hotels including the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Gansevoort Meatpacking in New York and the Village Hotels in U.K., as well as some locations in Miami and Calistoga, California.

Google says it's going to be adding more hotels to the program as time goes by — and maybe as more people start to book travel plans again as well.

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