etvfutures.com
etvfutures.com October 18, 2017


Google will 'permanently remove' Home Mini feature that led to constant recording

12 October 2017, 02:18 | Lucia Cruz

Image Credit Droid-Life

Image Credit Droid-Life

Smart speakers like the Google Home Mini are created to start recording when a specific word is said like "Hey Google" or "Ok Google".

Google issued the following statement, "We have learned of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Minis that could cause the touch mechanism to behave incorrectly". As before, the best way to control and activate Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying "Ok Google" or 'Hey Google, ' which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products. "We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue". "We've chose to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini". To interact with the Home Mini, you can either say "OK Google" or tap the top of its touch-sensitive surface.

The official Google statement acknowledged the bug issue.

Tech reporter Artem Russakovskii from Android Police wrote a harrowing story about how the Google home assistant he was given to test out at an October 4 tech event turned into a creepy surveillance unit.

With the top button gone, "Home Mini" will now be activated entirely by voice.

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Google takes product quality and privacy concerns very seriously. "Say "Ok Google" or 'Hey Google ' to control music, alarms and timers", added Google.

Russakovskii swapped the device with Google, whose engineers determined that the device was registering "phantom" touches. Furthermore, the device failed to notify users when it was randomly listening in on them.

According to Tech Crunch, those who received the Home Mini at the recent Made By Google events, were the ones affected by the bug.

While it's certainly conceivable that Google would be able to redesign the Home Mini's software to reject prolonged accidental activations, the bad optics of the situation somewhat forced its hand here. This means pre-ordered devices were not affected. Before Google killed this feature, it would allow you to long-press on the top of the device to activate Google Assistant. The device isn't due for launch until 19 October, so the company has a few days to find a permanent solution, or potentially push back its launch date.

Russakovskii reports that the device recorded him thousands of times per day without even being instructed to.



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