It’s hard to imagine traveling and staying in hotels right now, but for many people that’s still a reality for work reasons, even in a global pandemic. And we can all look forward to a time when the world opens up again, and we take vacations far away. Perhaps to a hotel of the future, where a Google Nest Hub powers your room. That’s coming sooner than you think.
Google announced a partnership today with several hotels, including Fairmont Princess, Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort, Gale, Shelborne South Beach, Gansevoort Meatpacking, Synergy Chelsea, Hotel Zena, Village Hotels, and others that would see Nest Hubs placed in your hotel room.
You’ll notice that it’s the Nest Hub and not the larger more vibrant Nest Hub Max, and that’s no accident. By choosing the smaller sibling, Google shows some care for privacy. The Nest Hub doesn’t have a camera, and it has a shutoff switch for the microphone. That’s perfect for anyone uncomfortable with the devices.
But for everyone else, Google’s presence will provide some useful features. Depending on the hotel, you can ask for room service, schedule a wake-up call, or ask about pool hours. You’ll also get local information like restaurant hours.
And naturally, the Nest Hub is a media device, too. You can use it to pull up YouTube videos and play songs. If the hotel supports it, you can even use the Nest Hub for faster checkout. That may help you skip lines when you want to get on the road.
Hotels can add extra features like voice commands for your room to control the TV, lights, blinds, and more. The Nest Hub can suggest specials in the hotel, or surface a survey to let the hotel know how your stay is going.
To protect your privacy, the Nest Hubs work without connecting a personal account, no audio is stored, and the devices don’t send data to Google’s servers. After you check out from your room, any activity stored on the device gets wiped before the next guest stays.
Google wants to expand the service to more hotels, and even has a signup page for interested companies.