Google held its annual hardware event Wednesday, at which it unveiled its latest Pixel and Google home, among other products. However, it was an item revealed late in the presentation that could be the most mind-blowing.
Google’s Pixel Buds are essentially the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods. They are earbuds that connect to a smartphone–in this case, the Pixel–through Bluetooth. At $159, they are priced exactly similar to AirPods.
However, because they pair with the Pixel smartphone, and thus Google’s software, the headphones can do something Apple’s headphones cannot do: Translate spoken language in real time.
Google Translate With Google’s Pixel Buds
The operation is achieved using Google Translate, that is built into the Google Pixel. The wearer taps the right earbud and says anything like, “help me speak Spanish,” and Google receives to work. Someone standing nearby can speak out loud in Spanish, and the earbuds will give the wearer the English translation in her ear. She can then hold down her right earbud and communicate in English, and her phone will project the Spanish translation from the Pixel’s speaker. The live translation starts only a second or two after the person stops speaking.
Google demoed the technology in action on Wednesday, and the earbuds quickly translated a conversation between English and Swedish–too much applause from the audience. The platform operates in 40 various languages. That is essentially like having a translator which can speak in 1,600 other language combinations right in your ear.
The Google’s Pixel Buds can be used with the iPhone too, however, only Pixel owners will be able to use tools like Translate and the Google Assistant.
The earbuds haven’t any buttons–you can adjust the volume through swiping or change song tracks through swiping. They connect to your smartphone wirelessly, but the earbuds are tethered together by a cloth-like cord.
The Google’s Pixel Buds come with a case it is also used to charge them. According to a post on Google’s website, they can play music for about 24 hours without needing a charge. They’ll be available in November, effectively simply in time for your holiday shopping.