Google Pixel Buds provide access to the Google Personal Assistant. The ability to instantly understand 40 languages could allow them to seriously compete with Apple’s AirPods.
At first, we thought the film Her Spike Jonze, or the Babel fish of the Galaxy Guide, for understanding any language when it sinks into his ear. But the Pixel Buds, headphones wirelessly presented Tuesday at the conference re-entry of Google, do not come out of a science fiction work. Connected to Bluetooth to the smartphone (under android), they are used like a classic headset, to listen to music or the sound of videos. They also provide access to Google Assistant, the personal assistant developed by Google, and its features. This includes its automatic translation tool. And because an image is better than a long speech, Google has done both at once: the company has proved the capabilities of its headphones by having a Swedish and an American talk in their native language, using a smartphone and Pixel Buds.
The demonstration is bluffing, but the technique quite simple. The person who wears the earphones first tells Google Translate, the Google translation tool, which language it wants to translate. The software then analyzes the speaker’s speech and then proposes its translation into the user’s ear. To answer, the latter speaks in his native language. The device then offers an oral translation, broadcast on the speaker of the smartphone, to the foreign interlocutor. More than 40 languages can be used by this feature.
The real novelty is the headphones sold by Google, which makes the experience more natural and immersive. It was already possible to use Google Translate on his smartphone to translate on the fly, and then answer a foreign interlocutor.
Google is not the first manufacturer to use artificial intelligence as a selling point for an audio headset. Apple also allows easy access to its assistant Siri via its AirPods. These wireless headphones, presented last year, are the main competitor of the Pixel Buds. The Sony Xperia Ear can also give useful information to its user such as weather, read information or initiate a call on demand. Each time, the artificial intelligence is actually in the smartphone, through a dedicated application or a personal assistant. The headphones add to the experience a small futuristic look. In France, however, it will be necessary to wait before believing in a science fiction film. Google Pixel Buds are currently reserved for the United States. They are sold at $ 159.