Earlier this week, an FCC filing revealed Google is working on a new version of its Nest Hub smart display. According to a report 9to5Google published on Thursday, the company will release the device later this year, and it will use its Soli technology for sleep tracking.
Soli, in the likely case you erased it from your memory, is Google’s radar emitting sensor. The company’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) unit detailed the tech back at I/O 2015, but it didn’t make its way into a consumer device until 2019 when Google released the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Soli powered some of that phone’s more outside the box features, including MotionSense, which allowed you, among other things, to wave your hand above the display to skip a song.
If Google does end up adding a Soli chip to its next Nest Hub, it would be one of the most visible uses of the technology since the Pixel 4. The Pixel 5 doesn’t include the sensor, and the only other device where Google has used Soli is inside its new Nest Thermostat, which leverages a more limited version of the component to assist with motion detection.
The filing the FCC uploaded earlier in the week suggests the Soli chip inside the new Nest Hub will have the same technical capabilities as the one found inside the Pixel 4. It’s not clear exactly how sleep tracking will look with Soli, but 9to5 says Google could use the sensor’s ability to recognize fine gestures to detect when you toss and turn in your sleep. The website also suggests part of Google’s reasoning for adding sleep tracking to the Nest Hub is to give you another reason to put the device on your bedside table. There’s no word yet on an exact release date or pricing, but Google certainly has room for a mid-tier smart display that fits between the $90 Nest Hub and $230 Hub Max.