Home / Gaming / Drivetime nabs $11M from Makers Fund, Amazon and Google to build voice-based games for drivers

Drivetime nabs $11M from Makers Fund, Amazon and Google to build voice-based games for drivers


Hub products from Amazonu2019s offerings. And, naturally, it also unlocks further privacy concerns in the process. The biggest piece of the puzzle is a kind of personalization that wouldnu2019t be accessible through other means.n

"O92A2333"n

During setup, the device walks you through a similar process that smartphones implement to enable unlock. Using your phoneu2019s camera, it grabs a 3D image of your face. When the Nest Hub Max spots you, it will greet you with a note along the lines of u201cGood afternoon, Brian,u201d and the image of you associated with your Google profile. When youu2019re locked in, the device tailors all of its suggestions to you. Itu2019s a clever way of swapping between accounts.n

Of course, like so many other things, it feels like a bit of a slippery slope. Google, of course, has already identified the sound of your voice, which it can also use to provide bespoke content, but thatu2019s a less dynamic approach to this kind of implementation. You can certainly opt out, though youu2019ll be missing out on a reasonably large piece of the puzzle here.n

"O92A2326"n

The camera also brings the ability to video chat through Duo. The Hub Max utilizes a similar zoom feature as Facebooku2019s Portal u2014 a dynamic pan that was initially positioned as that productu2019s killer app. Implementation here is similarly effective, moving and zooming out to follow the subject and included additional people at once. The digital zooming does notably degrade image quality, however.n

The other big piece of the puzzle is security camera functionality. It is, after all, a Nest device. Given that itu2019s not a devoted security product, however, Google is positioning that feature as more of a supplement to existing Nest devices. In other words, you place your Nest Cam in key areas and use the Hub Maxu2019s camera to fill in the gaps. It works similarly to those devoted devices (including features like geofencing), though it lacks some features like night vision.n

"O92A2361"n

Handily, the device will let you know when itu2019s being used as a camera, sporting a u201cNest Cam being viewedu201d notification, for added privacy. And, of course, it can be used with a variety of other connected cameras and smart home devices, serving as a kind of centralized control panel. There are a handful of compatible video services that can be added on set up, including HBO Now and CBS. No Netflix at the moment u2014 and likely no Amazon Prime, ever, though Chromecast functionality addresses that to some degree.n

The bottom speaker is bigger, louder and bassier (and stereo, to boot) than the original Home Hub. But itu2019s probably not sufficient for most as a standalone speaker. That said, the ability to pair it with another Home speaker makes it a nice companion to something like the Home Max, with the inclusion of a screen that displays and serves as a control panel while youu2019re listening to music.n

"O92A2355"n

Notably, there are only two mics on board u2014 fewer than many comparable smart home devices. In spite of the mics and improved sound, however, Google hasnu2019t built in the spatial-based level tuning you get on the higher-end Home Max.n

At $229 (and available now), the Nest Hub Max is priced to compete with the Echo Show. Itu2019s a stronger entry in most respects, and while the camera carries the aforementioned privacy concerns, itu2019s a clear sign of how Googleu2019s strengths are coming together to create a superior smart home product.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

There were two standout features I really appreciated off the bat about the original Nest (nee Google Home) Hub: its compact size and its lack of camera. The new Nest Max has decidedly neither of those things. After releasing a model that offered an interesting alternative to the Echo Show, Googleu2019s taking Amazonu2019s flagship smart […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:699688,”featured_media”:1878874,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:”Google Nest Hub Max review https://tcrn.ch/2zYWE8S by @bheater”,”categories”:[449223024,449557092,17396],”tags”:[81,449548148,576685493,267149,576660994],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/O92A2296.jpg”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2zYWE8S”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”google”,”cb_name”:”Google”,”cb_slug”:”google-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/google”,”slug”:”nest”,”cb_name”:”Nest”,”cb_slug”:”nest-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/nest”],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[699688],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1878768″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”version-history”:[“count”:7,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1878768/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:1879052,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1878768/revisions/1879052″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/699688″],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”count”:0,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1878768&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1878768&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/699688″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1878874″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1878768″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1878768″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1878768″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1878768″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1878768″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1878768″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:699688,”name”:”Brian Heater”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/brian-heater/”,”slug”:”brian-heater”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/eb77d830ad404e16ee7a4c7000b5f49d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/eb77d830ad404e16ee7a4c7000b5f49d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/eb77d830ad404e16ee7a4c7000b5f49d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/bheater”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-heater/1/a92/94″,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/brian-heater”,”position”:”Hardware Editor”,”cbDescription”:”

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am I seeing this ad? AI, ML & human error in advertising”,”content”:{“rendered”:”



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