Nest launched its home security system called Nest Secure in late 2017. Since then, it’s made the sort of minor updates you’d expect for a modern smart home device. Secure learned how to keep certain sensors active when you’re at home and how to respond to Google Assistant commands. Now, Nest Secure is taking over the other end of the Assistant connection. With a new OTA update, Nest Secure has become a Google Home speaker.
As a security system, the Guard has a speaker that can emit a loud shriek if the system detects an intruder (or a homeowner who forgot to turn it off). That’s only half of the Google Home setup, though. You also need a microphone to issue commands. It would appear that Nest hid a microphone inside the hub and never told anyone about it. That’s a little bit creepy to have a hidden microphone in a security product.
Starting today, an update is rolling out to the Secure system that turns the Guard into a full-fledged Google Assistant device. This is similar to the Next Cam IQ, which gained Assistant capabilities shortly after its release. Although, we knew that device had a microphone already. You were able to disable Assistant on the camera if it wasn’t needed, so presumably, it’ll be the same deal here (see below).
The speaker in Nest Guard was not intended to reproduce music with high fidelity — it makes a loud noise. So, you probably won’t want to use it as a music player any more than you would a Home Mini. However, it’s fine for managing things like timers and appointments. You can also control smart home devices like lights, robot vacuums, and even the Nest Secure system itself.
Nest added some Assistant commands for the Nest Secure after release, so you can use the Assistant-enabled Guard to arm the system and cancel an arming sequence by voice without another Home smart speaker. However, you still cannot disarm an already armed Nest Secure by voice. Otherwise, an intruder could just shout at the house to disable your security system. That’s no good.
The Nest Secure retails for $400, about $100 cheaper than the launch price. It comes with the Guard, two Detects, and two NFC tags. But now you don’t have to pick up that Home Mini for Assistant access.
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