Google’s voice-activated assistant is branching out to Nest‘s deluxe security camera in an expansion that may amplify the privacy concerns surrounding internet-connected microphones.
The virtual assistant is being offered to owners of the Nest Cam IQ in a free update rolling out Wednesday. The move comes just two weeks after Nest moved back under Google’s direct control after spending nearly 2 1/2 years as a separate company owned by the same parent, Alphabet Inc.
The $300 Nest Cam will give Google another potentially valuable earhole in its battle with Amazon and Apple to build digital command centers in people’s home.
That ambition has already spurred warnings from privacy watchdogs about the potential for internet-connected devices being used as surveillance tools.
Google’s assistant already can be used to control Nest’s cameras and internet-connected thermostat through its internet-connected speaker, Home, and smartphones running on its Android software. This will be the first time that people will be able to interact with the digital concierge through a security camera.
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