Pixel 2 to Home Mini: Google’s new hardware proves the core business is still search

Google unveiled a new range of devices from Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL smartphones to Google Home smart speakers and Google Pixel Buds earphones and Google Clip intelligent camera.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: October 5, 2017 9:32 am
Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 launch, Pixel 2 XL India launch, Pixel 2 price in India, Pixel 2 XL specifications, Google Home Mini, Google Mini speaker, Google speaker, Google Home, Google Pixel Buds Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL at the launch event. Pixel 2 arrives in India in November. (Source: Reuters)

A few hours back, Google unveiled a new range of devices from Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL smartphones to Google Home smart speakers and Google Pixel Buds earphones and Google Clip intelligent camera. As CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted, there is one clear thread connecting these devices: they all strive to synergise hardware, software and artificial intelligence. But there is another thing that he did not spell out. All these devices also try their best to boost Google’s core search business.

Let’s start with the Google Home smart speakers. With these speakers, at least some of us will start sending our queries for things we would other wise have made do with a note book or a post it or an offline old world directory or list. Your kitchen list is now a voice note that gets saved on Google servers and is later searched and retrieved, again using Google’s tech. It is no longer a crumpled note in your pocket.

With the Google Assistant, Google has the capability to own your behaviour. For instance, if you have been going to a specific site for you daily dose of jokes you might now end up asking the AI bot for the same. It will pull up as it seems fit, it most probably won’t be from the site you like. You will get cricket scores on you phone without visiting the site you so loved because of their analysis. Yes, Google will own your search and change your behaviour with the convenience it offers. And we all love Google for that.

Also read: Google Pixel 2 XL first impressions: Can this Android flagship beat Apple iPhone X?

With the it’s improved abilities at understanding voice queries, even the owner of the voice with Voice Match, the search giant has just opened its up to a couple of billion potential new customers. Yes, Google will now let children search with voice. This was till now a near non-existent base for Google, maybe with the exception of YouTube where it started looking out for kids long back.

Given that adults might get bored with voice search in a while, opening up to children is brilliant. In the Google Assistant they might finally find someone who will listen to them, a tough proposition in most urban households. Also, you can now search for the cube root of 678 and get the answer in a jiffy. Homework is just a voice search away.

Now let’s look at the Google Pixel Buds, the earphone that can translate languages for you in real-time. Actually, we should say it can pull up text to speech renditions from Google Translate in real-time. This is game changing for those who travel a lot of work in multicultural environments.

Then there is Google Lens and Google Clip both sending visual data to the machine learning servers for validation. The Nest Hello door bell which recognises who’s at the door is actually querying millions of faces in some data base and finding a match and you don’t even have Ronak’s for it. Everything is just a search away.

With the new launches Google has proved that with its new hardware products it is actually giving a shot in the arm to its core business of search. What would be the upside on its search and advertising business from these products is anyone’s guess, but it is clear where Google’s loyalties are.

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