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Home and Pixel earbuds steal show at Google launch
October 15, 2017, 4:15 pm
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Google announced a slew of products at its special launch event on 4 October, including its flagship phones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, as well as the Home Max and Home Mini speakers. While the flagship phones took pride of place at the launch, the potential to set the tech world on fire were the Home Max speaker and the Pixel Buds earphones infused with smart tech.

Rishi Chandra, who looks after Google Home products, speaking during the launch event said, "Just like the Pixel reimagined the camera, the Max will do the same with sound. Max is our first speaker with Smart Sound, a new audio experience powered by Google's artificial intelligence.”

He pointed out that the speaker was capable of figuring out the room where it is placed, its dimensions and directions, so as direct sound in the most appropriate manner around the room. In other words, in songs where loud sound or more subtlety is needed, the Max will automatically adjust the sound. It will also see how noisy an environment is and accordingly adjust its own sound.

Some of the other interesting features on Google Home include the ability to turn on or off a bunch of smart home devices when it hears the “Good Morning” or “Good Night” phrase commands. In addition, if you have Google Chromecast connected to your TV, you will be able to turn the TV on or off using the Home. Another simple but practical use of the speaker is to find your phone. You can now say, “OK Google, find my phone,” and Google will start to ring your phone. On Android devices the phones will ring even if they are in silence mode.

Google has also added over 50 new games and skills to Home, as well as empowered the device to read stories to keep kids entertained. And finally, there is a small but important update to the Home’s phone calling feature: now when you make a phone call through the Google Home, it can display your own phone number on the caller ID to whoever you are calling. Previously, it would just display a random number, which meant a very good chance of someone not picking up.

The other show-stealer at the launch event was the sleek wireless earphone, Pixel Buds, which carry a list price of $159. The Pixel Buds are straight out of the future and if they work even half as good as what Google is claiming, the Pixel Buds will set the tone for the world of future where there will be almost no language barriers. This is because the Pixel Buds can do translation in real-time.

"Pixel Buds can even translate between languages in real time using Google Translate on Pixel. Say you're in Italy, and you want to order your pasta like a pro. All you have to do is hold down on the right earbud and say, 'Help me speak Italian.' As you talk, your Pixel phone's speaker will play the translation in Italian out loud. When the waiter responds in Italian, you'll hear the translation through your Pixel Buds," said Adam Champy, product manager for the Pixel Buds.

 

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