Google has now announced an incoming update to Nest Secure that will bring Glass break detection features to the Nest Guard keypad for the smart home security system. In effect, the newly spotted feature does what its branding implies.
Glass break detection augments the shortcomings of another window-guarding piece of the Nest Secure system, namely Nest Detect. That accessory can sense when a Window or glass door is moved, for example. But it doesn't have the sensors to do a whole lot about somebody breaking the glass and entering the space guarded by Nest Secure.
Glass break detection uses Nest Guard's built-in mic to listen for a break-in — specifically the sound of breaking glass. If it hears that, it sounds the Nest Secure alarm.
Caveats to the initial arrival of Nest Guard Glass break detection
Google says the feature will be usable at any level of security in Nest Secure. So users are able to set it to work with either "Away and Guarding" or "Home and Guarding" mode. Glass break detection is turned off by default though. And there are several reasons that might be the case, although Google emphasizes that it only stores and processes audio locally.
To begin with, Google says that Glass break detection works better in a quiet home. So it's going to be best used when nobody is home or if the family is sleeping. That may be because of how it currently functions. Glass break detection works by detecting possible breaks, capturing the audio, and then analyzing it on-device. With a lot of noise going on, there's a chance the sound will be missed.
The company also indicates that the Nest Guard keypad needs to be placed close to the door or window it's supposed to be monitoring for the sound of breaking glass. The distance is stated as "within 15 feet" and the space between needs to be free of obstructions. That includes heavy curtains, walls, and similar objects.
There's a good chance that not every home will be able to take full advantage of the feature because of that. So it makes sense for that to be turned off by default.
The timeline and one other noteworthy feature
The Nest Guard Glass break detection feature will arrive for users "near the beginning of November," according to Google. It hasn't provided exact dates but that should mean it will arrive for users within the next week or so if it hasn't already.
Users can turn it on and off at any time and that's a good thing since the feature obviously has some drawbacks. Now, Google also says that there may be occasions where Nest Guard mistakenly hears breaking glass. That could potentially result in a false alarm. The company added one other control mechanism for its smart home security feature just in case.
Google is providing users control over the delay between Nest guard hearing the offending sound and the alarm going off. It placed the control in the app under a tap on the Glass break detection feature, tucked just below the security level settings. That's the same place users can find the switch to turn the feature on or off.
Delays start at "no delay" and go up by 15-second intervals to a full minute. From there, there are options to delay by additional minutes up to five minutes. The default delay is a minute.