Google makes smart displays easier for the less tech-savvy

Google adds new tools to Nest Hub Max displays to make them easier to use. © Courtesy of Google.

MOUNTAIN VIEW: To help the elderly stay connected to their loved ones when they’re isolated at home due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Google announced Monday that Nest Hub Maxes will be gaining a handful of updates that will make them easier to control by those who struggle with technology.

Because one of the communities most likely to suffer adverse effects from contracting Covid-19 is the elderly, they’ve become more isolated than most other groups of people over the past few months — especially since this age group is less familiar with technology than their offspring who grew up in the digital revolution.

The pandemic has pushed people towards video calling to connect with their loved ones, a tool that can be difficult to access by the less tech-savvy.

To address this issue, Google announced that it has launched new tools for Nest Hub Max smart home displays which simplify device control.

The Nest and Google Assistant teams came together to create this new experience that brings people a pre-loaded shortlist of contacts to make initiating a video call more efficient and easier.

Google also explains that new “What can you do?” cards have been added “that act like shortcuts for showing weather reports, setting alarms or playing relaxing sounds.”

This update is rolling out first to residents in Merrill Gardens retirement communities located in Washington state. The company did not specify when these features would be available beyond Merrill Gardens, but it’ll likely be sooner rather than later.