New Nest Devices Are on the Way… But Is Gemini Ready for Them?

New Nest Devices Are on the Way… But Is Gemini Ready for Them?

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Over a year ago, Google clarified that this is the “Era of Gemini” for the company. With what seems like a resurgence in Nest devices on the horizon, how do Google’s home devices fit into the Gemini era?

Google is entirely focused on developing artificial intelligence, and more social media immersion will be needed to make it back down.

Even Google Assistant, previously the company’s flagship product for smart homes and mobile devices, is starting to be replaced by Gemini.

For Pixel phone owners and users of the latest Android devices, Gemini can, at least to some extent, take over the role of Google Assistant.

New Nest Devices Are on the Way… But Is Gemini Ready for Them?

When the last update for Google’s support for Gemini on the Pixel Tablet appeared, we found that the same “Hey Google” command could summon either Gemini or Assistant, depending on whether your tablet was docked.

In addition, the fact that the Pixel Tablet is now available without the smart dock designed for home use suggests that Google Assistant is on its way out.

In the smart home, Gemini and its assistant take a tag-team approach. If you ask Gemini on your phone to “turn on the living room lights,” Gemini works with the assistant to complete the task.

Despite Google’s almost universal intentions for Gemini, the company has not publicly discussed bringing Gemini-supported responses and actions to speakers, smart displays, or TVs, leaving the assistant in charge.

However, all signs indicate that Google is preparing to release a significant wave of smart home products in the next year or so.

New Nest Devices Are on the Way… But Is Gemini Ready for Them?

Last year, 9to5Google reported on a new Nest Audio speaker, a Nest Hub Max bright display, Nest Wifi, and a Chromecast with Google TV (4K), most of which are equipped with Google Assistant.

Google partnered with ADT to bring more devices and features to the Nest/Google Home ecosystem.

Gemini and Google Assistant offer two distinct ways to be “helpful.” The assistant on Pixel 4 and newer devices work well enough for handling on-device tasks like “playing a Twenty-One Pilots song on Spotify.” However, if you make the same request to Gemini on a Pixel phone, you’ll be told it can’t help.

Meanwhile, Gemini can provide detailed and logical answers to even complex questions.

At present, it cannot help with any tasks that do not have a dedicated “extension” built for them, despite Google’s repeated emphasis on its intention for Gemini to become more “effective” in the future.

Although the feature was initially called “Assistant with Bard,” it is much closer to “Gemini with Assistant.”

But what if we could meet somewhere in the middle? On phones, if you ask Gemini something that should be handled by Google Assistant instead, this handover process happens automatically.

What if the new Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max, which should be rooted in the assistant’s task-oriented nature, could easily hand off questions to Gemini?

For example, if you say, “Hey Google, play rain sounds,” the usual assistant could handle that without using AI.

But if you ask something more complex like, “Hey Google, what are some fun indoor activities on a rainy day?” the assistant could pass the question to Gemini for a more detailed answer.

As the Google I/O 2024 conference highlighted, every Google product must integrate Gemini (or AI in general) to remain relevant (to the executives). Still, it is also clear that Gemini needs to be more consistent and capable of functioning as a smart home hub.


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