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Google Nest Hub in Hotel Rooms: The Good and the Bad

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been manyfold. While most of the traditional businesses have seen their revenues drop, there have also been some opportunists who are trying to make the most of the situation. Google, as we all know, is one of the most innovative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise that it’d try to capitalize on the gaping disparity between consumers and businesses, fill it with tech that can offer a bit of peace of mind. Today, we’re taking a look at one such modification of the Google Nest Hub and tell you all about how the company is looking to implement them in the hotel business.

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What is Google Nest Hub?

Google Nest are Wi-Fi-powered, smart speakers that come with the blessings of Google’s very own Assistant. Nest Hub, in particular, comes with a built-in 7-inch display and borrows all the other Google Assistant functionalities from its display-less siblings. You can ask the Nest Hub to jot down notes, play a song, watch YouTube, and even start a movie on Netflix.

Nest devices are also capable of controlling all your other supported smart devices, allowing you to carry out multiple tasks without actually laying a finger on or interacting with other services.

How is Google implementing Nest in hotels?

Thanks to the pandemic, we are all terrified of checking into hotels and dining out at restaurants. The owners, of course, have been doing their best to maintain top-notch safety standards, but people are still skeptical of taking their word for it. And even if they can’t avoid staying in hotels, they are doing their best not to touch germ-prone objects and avoid human interactions.

Capitalizing on the situation, Google has reached out to multiple hotels in the United States and the United Kingdom, asking them to install a Nest Hub device in each and every one of their rooms. If implemented properly, Nest Hub devices will make human interactions perfectly avoidable, as people would be able to enjoy hotel amenities — asking for a hot towel, call for room service, see pool timings, and more — without touching the susceptible telephone receiver. From setting an alarm to placing an order for a cup of coffee without calling up the room service, the Hub Nest in hotels is certainly a promising step towards independence.

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Why Nest Hub is as safe as you’d like?

Addressing the privacy concern that comes with such devices, Google has clarified that the Nest Hub, which flaunts a 7-inch screen, doesn’t have a camera, and the microphone on them can also be turned off for good. Additionally, the company has promised that no data is stored and the devices are reset every time a new guest checks in.

What are the benefits of incorporating Nest Hub devices in hotels?

Now that you’ve read about Google pitch for the Nest Hub devices, let’s take a look at some of the real-world usage for the family of devices.

Reduced human interaction

First and foremost, Nest Hub is a straight-up replacement for the hotel-room telephones — the ones you use to call the reception and ask for a warm towel or newspaper. Nest Hub wishes to cut the middleman and take your orders directly from the convenience of your room. And since it’s voice-activated, you won’t need to put your hands on the germ-infested telephone in your room and connect directly to the ones serving your needs.

Lack of phone anxiety

Additionally, since you’re talking to a machine and not a real person, there’s a tangible lack of anxiety. You know you can repeat your order if you mess up the first time and there’s also no language barrier in play. Simply ask Nest Hub to carry out a command, and your wish will be fulfilled in a heartbeat.

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Other smart speaker/display perks

As you’ve seen, Nest Hub successfully cuts off human interactions, which can literally be a lifesaver in the post-COVID era. However, we must also remember that Nest Hub devices can also double up as a smart speaker/display, which can serve a lot of other purposes. You can listen to music, ask it about the weather, watch a YouTube video, and even control some compatible smart devices in your hotel room. The possibilities can be endless.

What are the drawbacks of Nest Hub-powered hotel rooms?

After seeing the top-three advantages of staying in a Nest Hub-enabled hotel room, you could be very tempted to try it out. However, before you commit, you must also think about the potential drawbacks.

Privacy concerns

Google has already stated that the Nest Hub devices that’d be used in hotel rooms will not have a camera, which rules out the possibility of recording or monitoring your movement in the room. The firm has also claimed that recordings won’t be kept, and they’d be manually overridden every time a new customer checks in.

We, of course, have no qualms about Google’s assurances, but not everyone can afford to be so open-minded about such things. Additionally, since it’s a manual override (reset), you’d still be dependent on hotel staff to erase your commands after you checkout.

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Lack of a personal touch

Germ-free interactions can drive many people back to the hotels, but not everyone would like the idea of talking with an AI-powered machine. For those who have grown up in a more humane world, it could feel strange and uncomfortable to interact with Google Nest for accessing hotel amenities. Also, while Google Assistant may work like a charm for all the basic tasks, it simply cannot cater to your super-personalized requests.

Cost

This is still a debatable point, but we can see some hotels charging a premium for the whole hands-free experience. We don’t have the pricing details at hand, sadly, but charging extra for a “futuristic” solution isn’t unheard of in the hospitality business.

Where can I find these hotels?

After months of planning, Google has rolled out the Nest Hub-enabled devices in select locations across the United States and the United Kingdom. At this point, Nest Hub integration is available in Synergy Chelsea in New York, Shelborne South Beach in Miami, Hotel Zena in Washington, DC, and Village Hotels in the Kingdoms. The tech giant has promised that it’s working closely with other hotels and would expand the services to more areas in the coming months.

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Should you stay in a Nest Hub-enabled hotel?

After going through the pros and cons of Google Nest Hub, you should have answered the question for yourself. However, if you’re still having a hard time wrapping your head around it, just make sure to keep a couple of things in mind.

If you’re someone who is very determined to maintain optimum hygiene and are adamant about limiting human interaction, feel free to go for a Nest-powered hotel.

However, if you’re someone who values their privacy — too much — and still prefer to redeem the hotel amenities the old-fashioned way, you’d be wise to look for a classic and hygienic hotel room.

Sushan

A mediocre engineer hoping to do something extraordinary with his pen (well, keyboard). Loves Pink Floyd, lives football, and is always up for a cup of Americano.