Google is introducing a new feature for Google Meet hardware that deactivates the ‘Hey Google’ voice command prior to and during meetings.
Voice assistant commands are useful when you need them, but irritating when they go off by accident. Scheduled meetings are a good time to have voice commands turned off.
According to Google, customers have submitted feedback and noted that, as more teams switch to hybrid meetings, the ‘Hey Google’ command is triggered by accident during sessions. Google hopes that automatically disabling the feature helps avoid unintentional interruptions during calls.
Google isn’t able to stop ‘Hey Google’ commands on all devices. The new feature is only supported by Google Meet hardware. These are specialized devices developed to perform room-scale Google Meet video conferencing.
The devices incorporate microphones, speakers, cameras, and intelligent displays. They’re designed primarily for business conference rooms, where a single device links the entire room to a video call.
The ‘Hey Google’ command is especially disruptive on Google Meet hardware because one device typically handles most of the meeting. Having the Google Assistant pop up during your session and possibly muffling speakers while it listens for a prompt is a major distraction.
How will it work?
There’s no indication on whether users will get support for all Google devices that support meetings and Google Assistant. Google Meet hardware is a start.
Google is also increasing the list of devices supporting ‘Hey Google’ voice commands, including the Logitech Rally Bar, Logitech Rally Bar Mini and the upcoming Series One Desk 27.
Google Workspace users, G Suite customers and all compatible Google Meet hardware devices that have not yet passed their auto-update expiration date are eligible for the upgrade. It’s gradually being rolled out to both the Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains and could take up to two weeks to reach all users.