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Lockdown helps Google engineers ‘find new ideas for smart speakers’

Product lead for Google’s smart speakers says working from home is providing engineers with greater exposure to their devices than before Photo: Google/PA

Working from home during lockdown is giving Google engineers new ideas about how its smart devices could be developed in future, a company executive has said.

Like many firms across the world, employees of the tech giant have been forced to work remotely in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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While some might view being away from the office as a limitation when trying to advance technology used by the masses, Google’s product lead for smart speakers told the PA news agency that it is actually an advantage and may have a direct impact on features to come.

“I think it’s enhanced the insight that we have on these devices because now we’re spending 100% of our time with them, so I would actually say some of the key insights and some of the new features you’re going to start seeing is because we have been living with our products every single day, finding new use cases for them and actually questioning some things,” Mark Spates said to PA.

“I would say the time at home has actually made us all better creators of these products because we get to live with them a lot longer.”

Google is also aware that music can help people’s moods as they feel the strain of continued lockdown measures.

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Over the bank holiday weekend, the firm will present a range of mood-lifting activities via its Nest smart speakers.

Laura Whitmore will host the Nest Sessions, featuring Jessie Ware, Olly Alexander, Celeste, Mae Muller and Sam Tompkins, which aim to fit with the changes in a person’s mood over the course of the day, in line with findings from a new psychological study.

Users can say, “Hey Google, talk to Nest Sessions” to a Nest smart speaker to take part.