How to Enable Google Meet’s New AI Hand Recognition Feature

Google latest video meeting tool is an AI hand-raising detection feature that saves you a click.

Google has added a neat new feature to Google Meet that means you’ll no longer have to click the ‘raise hand’ button ever again.

Now, callers can simply raise their actual hand to activate the feature, and make their point. The feature had previously been in preview, but is now being rolled out to users.

You’ll need to enable the feature before you can use it, we’ll explain how.

Google Adds AI Hand Recognition Feature

The hands-free feature that was announced earlier this year, and rolled out this week. On a Google Workspaces Updates blog, the company explained “Until now, raising your hand to ask a question in Google Meet is done by clicking the hand-raise icon. Starting today, you can also raise your physical hand and Meet will recognize it with gesture detection.”

Users must ensure their camera is enabled for their gesture to be detected, raise it away from the face and body and hold it up until the hand-raise detection circle turns green. No need to click the hand raise button anymore.

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This latest update is just another way in which Google has integrated AI into its products lately. Including the ‘Help me write’ tool for Gmail, the Immersive View and Google Lens for Google Maps, and the image generator for Google Search.

Is Google’s Hand Recognition Feature Useful?

Let’s be honest, it’s not the most life changing feature although it is quite cool. The level of effort required to raise your hand is not much less than what was previously required of meeting participants to click the hand raise button.

However, there are various scenarios in which this feature could come in handy. For example, if you’re standing up away from your computer or mouse – perhaps even walking on a treadmill or cycling on a static bike.

Another instance when it could come in useful is if your hands are dirty, from eating lunch or if your job is particularly messy.

Perhaps a more useful Google Meet feature, for those who work from home in particular, is the Portrait Touch-Up mode, introduced last month. This tool allows you to apply subtle beauty effects like filters to your face to reduce undereye bags, hide a nasty cold or the beads of sweat from your lunchtime run.

How to Enable Google Hand Recognition Feature

Gesture detection is off by default and can be turned on by selecting More options > Reactions > Hand Raise Gesture.

The feature is automatically turned off for active speakers to avoid the feature confusing gesticulation whilst speaking with raising a hand. Once a speaker stops talking the feature will automatically turn back on.

The phased rollout started with the rapid release domains receiving access this week, with scheduled release domains gradually receiving access to the new tool between November 28 and December 12.

The gesture detection tool will be available to the following enterprise account types: Google Workspace Business Plus, Business Standard, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Starter, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade customers, and Google Workspace Individual subscribers.

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Abby Ward is a contributor at and freelance search engine marketing (SEM) specialist. Since graduating from Kingston University London in 2015 with Bachelor's degree in Journalism with French, she has worked in many areas of digital marketing including website management, SEO, and paid media. Her specialist topics span her professional and personal interests in search social media, ad-tech, education, food & beverage, hospitality, and business.
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