On Wednesday, Google released a number of new products, adding to their smart home product offering and introducing the Google Pixel 2. However, one of the products that really caught my eye was the new Google Pixel Buds wireless headphones. When the Google Pixel Buds are paired with a Google Pixel phone, the earbuds can tap into Google Assistant, which has the ability to translate up to 40 different languages in real time!
During the product release, one google employee was speaking Swedish with her Pixel Buds and her phone. When the phone was addressed in English, the Pixel Buds translated into Swedish in her headphones. The Swedish speaker then spoke back in Swedish through the earbuds by pressing on the right bud to wake Google Assistant. Google Translate then translated that Swedish reply back into English, which was played through the phone’s speakers.
There are a few videos from Wednesday’s event showing the language translation demo which was quite incredible. In general there was about a 1-2 second lag from language spoken to translation. Something that could really come in handy while traveling abroad.
Google announced that these will retail for for $159 and be available starting in November, though they haven’t yet given a firm date. They will not be completely wireless, as there will be a cord that is designed to rest on the back of the wearer’s neck. Much like the Apple Airpods were designed to automatically pair with the iPhone, the Pixel Buds were designed to be used with Google’s Pixel lineup of phones.
These new headphones look incredible and seem to really maximize the power of Google Translate, which is one of my favorite apps. This seems like technology that could revolutionize the way we travel and communicate with people. As mentioned above, the translation feature will only work with the Google Pixel 2 smartphone and will not be compatible with iOS devices at this time. I can’t wait to get my hands on these and try them out. Well done Google.