Following in the footsteps of Apple and then some, Google has launched its first pair of wireless headphones featuring real-time language translation employing Google Translate.
The Google Pixel Buds connect to an Android or Google Pixel smartphone and can use a voice-controlled Google Assistant to make calls, play music and understand other languages.
At an event in San Francisco yesterday, Google introduced this revolutionary piece of hardware, alongside two new smartphones, a laptop, and upgrades to its Google Home speakers.
The translations service allows users to both listen and speak in foreign languages.
In order to listen in another language, users need to hold down the earbud to allow it to translate another language into the user’s chosen language.
By pressing the earbud and saying ‘let me speak Italian’, users will be able to speak in English to their smartphone and the speakers will automatically translate it into Italian.
As reported by The Telegraph, Google product manager Adam Champy said:
With Pixel Buds, we’re excited to put all the power of the Google Assistant into a pair of headphones you can take with you everywhere, so you can easily control your tunes, get walking directions to the nearest coffee spot or have a conversation with someone from another country without ever pulling out your phone.
Smaller companies have developed real-time translation technology, such as Translate One2One, but this is the first attempt by a major company to bring the tech to the mainstream market.
The Pixel Buds won’t require you to touch a button to activate Assistant, instead you swipe across the outside of the right earbud or tap it for music controls.
The fabric loop should keep the headphones attached to your head and Google claims you can get five hours of use per charge.
As is tradition at Google events, they repeatedly mocked the ostentatious nature of Apple’s events and products, highlighting the pointless naming of the iPhone colours as if they were on the Dulux colour chart.
Google also made a jab at Apple, saying ‘we don’t set aside better features for the larger device’, before highlighting how easy they have made it to transfer data from an iPhone to a Pixels phone.
However Google have copied Apple in eliminating the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pixel 2 phone.
The case the Pixel Buds come in also acts as a charger which can supply up to 24 hours of juice.
The Google employee introducing the Pixel Buds said:
We’re letting you connect with the world around you in a more natural way.
Pixel 2 is supposed to showcase the best of Google’s Android Orea software and boasts features like a squeezable body use to summon Google Assistant as well as a smart camera which allows users to search the real world using image recognition.
The Google Assistant and Earbuds will support 40 languages and cost £159 in the UK. They will be released on November 22, but can be pre-ordered today.