Google Hardware Chief Discusses Smart Speaker Etiquette For House Guests
Osterloh was interviewed by BBC News and was asked his opinion about
Osterloh also pointed out that many smart home devices provide some sort of indication that they are on. For example, Nest products shine an LED light when they are on. Many smart home devices can also be physically turned off or muted.
These questions about privacy are particularly important since Google announced their new Nest Mini and Nest Wifi. The Nest Mini is an upgraded version of the Home Mini. It includes a cut-out so that it may be hung from a wall, better audio, and an LED light that lights up when a user is close to the speaker. The Nest Wifi is similar to Google Wifi and includes a microphone and speaker. Both of these devices include features that were missing from their predecessors. However, is a Nest Mini owner going to turn-off or remove their device from their wall every time a guest enters their home? For some users, practicality might beat privacy.
The interview also featured questions about Google’s facial recognition tests. Many companies have conducted tests so that facial recognition technology is better at detecting darker skin tones. Google reportedly offered homeless people $5 USD to gather facial recognition data and did not disclose the purpose of their tests. Osterloh admitted, “It's come to our attention there may be some methods that were not approved, not how we would do business.” These tests are apparently under investigation, but there does not seem to be any resolution in sight.