Turn on Ultrasound sensing

Ultrasound sensing takes you to another level of convenience by customizing your favorite Google Nest display and Google Nest Mini 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 4 to 6 ft range in 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

Google Nest displays

Easily view your notifications

If you have personal results and Home screen and 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're 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 view 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 play audio by automatically showing your touch controls when you’re nearby.

Google Nest Mini

Control your media

Your Nest Mini gives you easier control when you play audio by detecting the presence of your hand and lighting up the volume LEDs while music is playing.

Ultrasound sensing and your privacy

The Ultrasound sensing feature is performed on your device and is used to adjust your speaker or 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. You can also learn more about our sensors guide.

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 4 ft range (1.2 m) of your device.

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

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Select your Nest display or your Nest Mini.
  3. At the top right corner, tap Settings  and then Recognition & sharing.
  4. Turn Ultrasound sensing off.

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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