Raise to Talk to Google Assistant Feature Planned for Google Pixel 4: Report

Lifting the upcoming Google Pixel 4 smartphone will activate Google Assistant, according to a report from 9to5Google. The new detail is one of many elements of Google’s new phone that have already leaked before its expected announcement at Google’s hardware event on October 15.

Lifting as a Wake Word

Google Assistant will awaken when the phone senses it is being lifted up and towards someone’s face. The activation is in addition to the current ways of awakening Google Assistant on Pixel phones using the “Hey Google” wake command or squeezing the sides of the phone. The new feature is described as very similar to the way that many smartphones will turn on their displays when lifted. Motion awakening for Google Assistant is supposed to be more intuitive and faster than the other methods. It sounds similar to the lift-to-speak feature in Apple Watches that turns on Siri when the watch is lifted up to your face.

Activating Google Assistant by lifting the phone will be limited to the new Pixel 4 phone, but it’s a feature that fits with the overall evolution of Google Assistant that the company discussed at its I/O conference in May. Google announced that its “New Assistant” will emphasize efficiency and privacy in how it operates. That includes this lift-to-wake feature, according to the leaked information. For privacy, Pixel owners will only have a few moments to speak to Google Assistant before it deactivates again in order to avoid accidental recordings. The digital assistant will also rely on voice recognition so that it won’t potentially give access to personal information to someone who isn’t the phone’s owner.

Hardware Event Anticipation

Google’s hardware event is in a week, but a good deal of information has already been leaked or hinted at officially by the company. A feature called Hold My Phone is expected among the announcements, giving Google Assistant the capacity to stay on hold for you during calls. Callers will tap a button on the phone’s display when on hold and Google Assistant will notify them when a human gets back on the line.

Google is also expected to bring out its latest Google Pixel Earbuds at the event. The new version of the earbuds will supposedly be truly wireless, without a tethering line between the earpieces. Google has a lot of catching up to do in the earbud space. Apple’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, and Amazon’s Echo Buds are all part of Google’s competition in the increasingly competitive arena. The event will also likely see an update for the Google Home smart speaker, now under the Google Nest branding, for the first time since its launch in 2016. Even with all of the leaks there will likley be some surprises as usually happens at these events. Still, after Amazon’s bonanza of 16 new products and updates at its own recent event, Google’s news will need to be pretty spectacular to stand out.


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