Mountain View (dpa) – Google uses artificial intelligence to make its services and devices more attractive in everyday life.
At the Google I / O developer conference, the group showed, among other things, how the software can automatically display useful information in the camera image on the smartphone screen – and how its voice assistant copes without the usual wake word. As a glimpse of the future, a prototype of glasses was created that can display translations from other languages in the user’s field of view during a conversation.
A visual search engine for the whole world
The search mask where you type letters has laid the groundwork for Google’s current size – but the group is increasingly relying on smartphone cameras. Wednesday’s I / O shows, for example, how a photo of a meal is enough to find it in well-rated nearby restaurants. Or how to point your phone’s camera at a snack shelf to see which ones are healthier on the screen.
Thank you. Camera addressed
Today, the language assistant Google Assistant is usually activated by the wake word, much like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri rival software. On the internal Nest Hub – a network speaker with a display and a camera – you’ll be able to do without “Hey Google”. The assistant feels addressed when the user looks at the device. The software does not take into account the cursory glance when analyzing the camera images.
The clock is to compete with Apple Watch
Google is also making a new attempt to break Apple’s dominance in the computer clock industry. The group announced its original Pixel Watch, which is intended for users of Android smartphones. However, it is not expected to be available on the market until fall. Google did not provide an exact date or price.
Apple took the lead in the computer watch industry with the launch of the watch in 2015 and has kept it ever since – despite the fact that various Android phone makers are launching their smartwatches. However, the devices had weaknesses in software and design.
The Pixel Watch is the first computer watch to be developed inside and out by Google, emphasized device chief Rick Osterloh. As with the Apple Watch, Fitness should be the main app.
In 2019, Google bought a specialist in Fitbit fitness bands, whose technology is used in the Pixel Watch. The technology under the Fitbit brand should exist as well. Osterloh emphasized that Pixel Watch can also move without a paired smartphone, e.g. on a bicycle trip. You can also use it to make contactless payments, just like you do with the Apple Watch.
Hardware offensive: Rival of Android partners
The group is also expanding its Pixel product line-up with a range of Apple devices: there is also an upgraded Pixel Buds Pro headphone model, and a new Pixel tablet will appear next year. Android tablets have not been able to shape the market like Apple’s iPad.
Google is launching a hardware offensive to more competition with Android device makers such as Samsung. As the creator of the Android operating system, the internet group has held back a bit in the hardware business so far. Osterloh Device Manager has now highlighted the advantages of seamless device interaction from a single source.
The glasses show the translation
In the future, Google is working on computer glasses that can automatically display translations in the user’s field of view. The prototype of the device could at least be seen in action in the movie: “Like subtitles to the real world.” There was no information on technical details such as battery life. From the outside, however, the device looked like ordinary horn-rimmed glasses, except for the slightly wider brackets.
Technology that superimposes digital content on real-world environments – on displays or directly in the user’s field of view – is known as ‘Augmented Reality’ (AR). It is already known that the AR glasses are being developed, among others, by Apple and Facebook. A few years ago, the German Bosch Group showed a prototype of glasses that can display user arrows, for example, for navigation instructions.
Google pioneered computer glasses in 2012 thanks to Google Glass which had a small display and a camera. In addition to technical weaknesses, however, data protection concerns were fatal for the device.