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Google may be updating the Nest Hub by adding Soli gestures

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A new version of Google’s smaller smart display may be on the way

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Google’s Nest Hub may be getting an update for the first time since its debut in 2018. The company registered a new “interactive device” at the Federal Communications Commission that’ll feature a screen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee support, along with what seems to be Google’s Soli radar gesture technology.

Taken together, it seems that Google has a new smart home device of some sort on the way; as 9to5Google points out, that “interactive device” classification is similar to what Google uses for its other smart devices like the original Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, Nest Mini, Nest Wifi, and Nest Audio.

The addition of Zigbee — a popular smart home networking standard — would help integrate whatever the new device is even better into smart home setups. And Soli tech has appeared in Google’s smart home devices before, like the entry-level Nest Thermostat released last year, which uses the technology for detecting when users are nearby.

According to the FCC filing, the unknown smart device is rated for the same, broader 58-63.5 GHz range of frequencies as the Pixel 4, which, unlike the Nest Thermostat, used the Soli technology for its Motion Sense gestures. It’s easy to imagine Google using the radar technology for motion gestures on a next-generation version of its smaller Nest Hub, which lacks the integrated camera that the larger Nest Hub Max already uses for similar gestures.

Lastly, the Nest Hub is one of Google’s oldest smart home products (having launched back in October 2018). It actually predates the use of the Nest brand for Google’s smart home products — the device first was released as the Google Home Hub — so it’s probably due for a refresh.

Unfortunately, the FCC filing doesn’t reveal many other details for the mysterious product. But if Google is already working on regulatory registration, we may not have too long to wait.