We received a statement from Google regarding the implication that the Nest Secure alarm system has had an unlisted microphone this whole time. It turns out that yes, the Nest Guard base system (the circular device with a keypad above) does have a built-in microphone that is not listed on the official spec sheet at Nest’s site. The microphone has been in an inactive state since the release of the Nest Secure, according to Google.
This unlisted mic is how the Nest Guard will be able to operate as a pseudo-Google Home with just a software update, as detailed below.
Once the Google Assistant is enabled, the mic is always on but only listening for the hotwords “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”. Google only stores voice-based queries after it recognizes those hotwords. Voice data and query contents are sent to Google servers for analysis and storage in My Activity.
Original Article, February 4, 2019 (02:20 PM ET): Owners of the Nest Secure alarm system have been able to use voice commands to control their home security through Google Assistant for a while now. However, to issue those commands, they needed a separate Google Assistant-powered device, like a smartphone or a Google Home smart speaker.
The reason for this limitation has always seemed straightforward: according to the official tech specs, there’s no onboard microphone in the Nest Secure system.
That’s pretty damn creepy