Google has announced it is bringing group video calling to its Nest Hub Max smart display.
Previously the device was only capable of one-on-one video calls thanks to its camera and screen, but now it is able to join group calls of up to 32 people using Google Duo.
With Google Meet, you’ll be able to call into meetings of up to 100 people, but it appears to be audio-only. We’ve asked Google to confirm this.
It said the Meet functionality would be going live first, before the Duo update.
Google also said group call functionality is coming to the LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display, JBL Link View and Lenovo’s 8 inch and 10 inch Smart Displaysv – but not the smaller Google Nest Hub, perhaps because of its too-small 7in display.
To get the group call feature working, you need to create groups within the Duo Android app on your phone or tablet. You can then ask the Nest Hub Max, “Hey Google, make a group call”, before tapping on the group you want to call, which will sync from the app.
In this time of pandemic, it could be a good way to better keep in touch with important groups of people, or to set up for a grandparent to help them easier contact family and friends.
While it’s true you could do such calls from a phone or tablet, the Nest Hub Max is a stationary unit that lets you have a better hands free calling experience, with auto-framing tech that keeps you in view if you want to move around while talking.