During an event at the SFJAZZ Centre, Google surprised and excited their audience by revealing a whole host of new products for the second generation of their hardware line. The newest products include an updated version of the Pixel, complete with those fancy edge-to-edge screens. There are also headphones that translate foreign languages in real-time, a new “Home Mini” and “Home Max” speaker, and a Pixelbook laptop.
Google is hoping that their latest collection of devices will help them to get ahead of the market for tech devices so that they can catch up with competitors like Samsung and Apple. According to the hardware chief, Rick Osterloh:
“The next biggest innovation will happen at the intersection of AI, hardware, and software.”
Pushing into the Smartphone Space
With the arrival of the new Pixel, Google is hoping to carve a space for themselves in a market that’s currently dominated by both Apple, and Samsung. The latest versions of the phone, the Pixel 2, and the Pixel 2 XL, include a range of great features, including an upgraded camera, an option to “squeeze” the device to get the assistant, and an edge-to-edge screen. Unfortunately, statistics suggest that Google only has about a 1% share of the smartphone market, compared to 32% for Samsung and Apple.
Following from a similar decision made by Apple last year, the new Pixel won’t include a headphone jack, which may be why Google decided to debut a new set of $160 “Google Pixel Buds” headphones alongside their new device. The headphones are wireless and enable real-time translation between speakers. The translation feature works for up to 40 different languages.
The Smart Home Devices
When it comes to the smart home, we’re following up from the “Home” products introduced into the market last year, after Amazon delivered the Echo. In the second quarter, Google Home products make up for about 17% of the smart speakers worldwide, compared to around a 78% share for Amazon. According to some analysts, however, the key to Google’s strategy is about getting more virtual assistants inside the average home, rather than building hardware sales.
Interestingly, Google will be giving away the “mini” version of their home speaker device with every Google Pixel. This new device is about the size of a donut and has all the powers of the Google Home.
Google Computing Power
Finally, Google introduced a range of new incredible Pixelbook devices, complete with a versatile convertible design and stylus pen. The latest Pixelbook is the first Chromebook on the market to come with the Google Assistant. You can either use the machine as a laptop, or tablet, depending on what you need at the time.
What’s more, if you’re looking for a bit of extra fun, you can also finish your purchase with the new Google wearable camera, known as “Google Clips“, which is designed to stick onto your clothing and take pictures for you throughout the day.
In other words, it looks like Google is using their hardware investments to jump into every aspect of modern day life.