If you have one of Google’s Nest Hub Max smart displays, starting today you’ll be able to use it for group video calls. The update is rolling out in the US, expanding video calling capabilities beyond one-on-one video calls for select Google Assistant-powered smart displays.
Starting a call is as easy as saying “Hey Google, make a group call” and then using the touchscreen to select the group you want to call. You’ll need to create those groups in the Duo mobile app before they’ll show up on the display.
Google Meet is also getting group video calling on smart displays, but it’s limited to the Nest Hub Max.
To connect to a Google Meet call, tell your Hub Max “Hey Google, join my next meeting” and Assistant will automatically connect to the meeting in your Google Calendar. You can also ask for Google Assistant to join a meeting, and then enter the meeting ID using the touchscreen.
Adding group video calling to smart displays is a welcomed addition to Google’s Smart Display lineup. Not only does it make it easier to stay in touch with friends and family, but it gives users a dedicated device for work or school meetings and remote fitness classes.
The Nest Hub Max has a wide-angle lens so it can capture a large group of people in one room, or allow you to move around the room while you chat and the camera will follow you. It’s a similar feature found in Facebook’s Portal smart displays, both of which provide a more personal and conversational feel to video calls.
You can order the Nest Hub Max from Google for $229 if you don’t already have one. The Hub Max boasts a 10-inch display that you can also use to control your smart home devices, ask Google questions, get weather forecasts and watch YouTube videos.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.