💡Travel technology tends to be focused on the transactional; ways to streamline and personalize the booking process for consumers, while reducing costs and connecting systems on the back-end.
💡 But, during a consumer technology keynote Wednesday, Google announced one feature that could help redefine the travel experience for consumers around the world.
💡On Wednesday morning the company revealed Google Pixel Buds, intelligent wireless earbuds linked by a cloth cord that run Google Assistant. Touch controls on the right earbud to activate Google Assistant and control audio.
💡Google says Pixel Buds are optimized for audio obviously, but the slickest feature by far is translation. Tethered to an Android phone, the buds can do nearly real-time translation in 40 languages.
💡This functionality is only available when the headphones are paired with a Google Pixel 2 phone, further demonstrating how Google is looking to directly compete with Apple in the mobile field.
💡The earphones are able to utilize Google’s AI-powered, voice-activated assistant, Google Assistant. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s statement to investors,
“We have improved our translation ability more in one single year than all our improvements over the last 10 years combined.”
💡Pixel Buds offer about five hours of listening time on a single charge, and they ship with a charging case that can ratchet that up to about 24 hours.
💡Google’s offering them in three colors — Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White — for $159. Pre-orders start today, and the devices ship in November.
💡The smart headphone market is already well populated — Doppler Labs’ Here One, Bragi’s Dash and Headphone, Samsung’s Gear IconX, and Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E8, to name a few. But the largest player seems to be Apple’s AirPods.
💡It’s impossible to predict how Google Pixel Buds will be received when they arrive at market, but their real-time translation feature is certainly a powerful differentiator if it works as smoothly as it appeared to onstage today.
💡Pixel Buds offer around five hours of listening time on a single charge, and they come with a charging case that can increase that to about 24 hours. The Pixel Buds will be available in three goofily named colors—Kinda Blue, Just Black, and Clearly White—for $159. Pre-orders start today, and the devices ship in November.