Google Home Mini Caught Recording Audio Due to Hardware Issue

Alyssa Bailey
October 12, 2017

But that should only happen after you use a hot word to activate it. For example, Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii discovered a hardware defect in the upcoming Google Home Mini that caused the device to record nearly all nearby audio and upload it directly to Google.

The good news is that Google is fixing the issue before the Google Home Mini ships to your door. Because his rooms are already laden with other Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers, he made a decision to plonk the Home Mini in his bathroom. This voice control platform debuted a year ago on the Pixel and the regular Google Home. Our Mini never went insane by recording at random. The Mini has a touch-sensitive surface, and, to issue a command, you can either say "OK Google" or long press on the top.

Russakovskii discovered and reported the issue to Google two days later, allowing Google to inspect the device and issue a firmware update that disabled the component that caused its hyperactive recording before it reached pre-order customers. Some were listening to everything, recording it all, and transmitting the audio back to Google's servers. Of course, none of them returned valid responses from Assistant as they were not valid commands.

This could have been a PR nightmare for Google, but as per Russakovskiis account, the company was committed and transparent throughout the whole process.

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Speaking at the event Isabelle Olsson, a senior industrial designer for Google, said: 'It's small enough to be placed anywhere in the home.

On paper, the donut-sized Google Home Mini and premium Apple HomePod-rivaling Google Home Max look pretty sweet, with early reviews consolidating at least the former's position as a very strong Echo Dot contender. You will only be able to wake the speaker up with the OK/Hey Google hotword. The software fix prevents the activation of the speaker with a touch, which was a feature meant to offer options for activation.

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