Turn on Ultrasound Sensing

Ultrasound sensing takes you to another level of convenience by customizing your favorite Google Nest display features depending on your distance from your device. Get a view of your cooking timer with easy-to-read numbers when you’re across the room. Have your touch controls automatically appear when you get close to your display. Whether you’re near or far, you can get more help and control at a glance when Ultrasound sensing is turned on.

How Ultrasound sensing works

Ultrasound sensing uses your Google Nest device’s speakers and microphones to determine whether a person is approaching within approximately a 4ft range of the front of the device.  Your device’s speaker will emit soft, inaudible, ultrasonic pulses. These pulses are reflected off of nearby objects in the room and the microphones detect these reflections.

Note: Occasionally, other things in your home environment may cause ultrasonic noise and may disrupt Ultrasound sensing for a brief period. This should discontinue as soon as the ultrasonic noise stops.

Explore Ultrasound sensing features

Easily read your notifications

If you have Personal results and Home screen & notifications on your Nest Hub display turned on, Ultrasound sensing will show pending notifications on the ambient screen if you’re nearby. For Nest Hub Max displays, if you have enrolled in Face Match and have personalization turned on, notifications will show when you are Face Matched by the device.  If you are not enrolled in Face Match but you do have notifications and personalization turned on, Ultrasound sensing will show pending notifications if you’re nearby.

Get a better view and control of your timers

When you set a timer and Nest display detects that you’re nearby, it will automatically show your touch controls so you can easily control your timer. If you’re across the room, your timer will be displayed in a larger font to help you read it more easily.

Stay updated on the daily weather

When you ask for the weather, you can get detailed weather information and an hourly forecast when you’re near the display. You can also get a view of the day’s weather in larger letters if you’re farther away.

Learn about your commute

Go near your display when you ask for your commute to get detailed information along with a map of the route you need to take. Even if you're far away from the display, you can still get your commute time and traffic information which are all displayed in larger letters to make it easier to read.

Control and view your media

Your Nest display gives you easier control when you’re playing audio by automatically showing your touch controls when you’re nearby.

Ultrasound sensing and your privacy

The Ultrasound sensing feature is performed on your device and is used to adjust your display to make it more glanceable and easier to control based on your proximity to the device. No motion, proximity, or presence sensor data is sent to the cloud. 

Learn more about Nest and our privacy commitments here.  You can also learn more about our sensors guide here.

Turn off Ultrasound sensing

This setting is on by default, but you have the ability to turn it off (and then back on as you like) at anytime on your Google Home app. When turned on, your smart display will detect that you’re nearby if you’re within approximately a 4ft range (1.2m) of your device.

To turn Ultrasound sensing on or off, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app
  2. Go to Device Settings 
  3. Scroll down to the Ultrasound sensing setting.
  4. Slide the slider on On to turn on Ultrasound sensing or slide off Off to turn it off for this device.

You can also turn off Ultrasound sensing on your Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max by using the switch on the back of your display to turn off the microphones (this switch also turns off your camera on Nest Hub Max). To turn on Ultrasound sensing again, use this switch to turn the microphones back on. 

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