Google Hardware Event 2017 – Hello Pixel 2!

Google Hardware Event Pixel Pixelbook

After Apple & Amazon’s recent hardware showcases, it was Google’s turn to show off its new line of products. Including the highly anticipated Pixel 2. With the launch of each new device, Google stressed the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in every step of the user experience. By putting AI are the core of the Pixel and home devices, Google ensure you’re better informed and can be more efficient in your day-to-day.

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Google’s New Hardware

Google Home Mini

The new Google Home Mini is about the size of a doughnut and weighs less than a chipmunk. But it appears to do as much as the original Google Home does. Like its predecessor, you can use your Mini as a personal assistant or to control smart devices around your home or office. The Mini makes multi-tasking easy, allowing you to update or check your calendar just through voice. It also signals further adoption of a smart home, making it easier and cheaper to have a personal assistant in every room.

Google Home Max

The Google Home Max is a smart stereo speaker with built-in AI and voice recognition. Voice controls for the Home Max make playing music a friction-less experience. It also uses machine learning to adjust its settings, optimising the sound depending on which room it’s in. The Home Max can even recognise where in the room it is, changing its settings in real time for the best possible sound! This creates a completely unique customer experience that will improve the quality of your sound on a day-to-day basis.

Pixelbook & Pen

Rumours of a new, high-end chromebook were confirmed when Google gave us a look at the Pixelbook. It’s a 10mm thin chromebook that flips round into a tablet. Inside it’s got a 7th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

Of course, like almost everything announced during the event, the Pixelbook will work seamlessly with Google Assistant. In fact, just by pressing the dedicated Google Assistant button, the Pixelbook scans your screen and uses AI to instantly give suggested results. The built-in asssitant can be used to speed up your workflow and automate your daily tasks.
 
Google Home Mini Google Home Max Google Pixelbook Sonin
Left to right: Google Home Max, Google Home Mini & Google Pixelbook
 

Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL

The new Pixel 2 phones are instantly identifiable, sporting a unique and slightly-retro look. Unlike it’s Apple and Samsung rivals, you’re pretty much getting the same hardware in both models. So no matter which phone you choose you’re still getting water resistance, a dual-pixel smart camera and ‘Active Edge.’ This feature lets you squeeze your phone to instantly launch Google Assistant. There’s also some pixel-exclusive upgrades to the new Android 8.0 Oreo including built-in live wallpapers and a unique Pixel launcher.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL solidifies mobile’s role in the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. Features like ‘Google Lens’ in-camera image recognition enhance your everyday, and fully integrated AI helps you to complete your tasks faster with more precision. Like it’s rivals, this new generation of mobile supports your day-to-day and creates a frictionless journey in an always switched on world.

Daydream View

With its new Daydream headset, Google continues to deliver virtual reality to smartphone users. The new Daydream has a wider field of view, giving users a more immersive VR experience. The new design also includes a heat sink to stop the phone overheating. Google’s making virtual reality more accessible and convenient for mainstream audiences. This helps companies find new and exciting ways to interact with and advertise to their customers.

Pixel Buds

Google’s all-new wireless earphones can be controlled with just gestures. Tap to play and pause music or swipe to adjust the volume. The earphones will give users faster access to Google Assistant. You can have the earphones read out your notifications or even translate voice for you. This makes cross-language conversations much easier and more seamless.

Clips

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the event was Google Clips, a hand-held camera that uses AI to select video highlights. Throughout the talk, Google stressed the importance of privacy for the product. The device is self-contained and will only transfer videos to your phone when you ask. Further to this, all your videos stored on the camera are encrypted just in case you lose it. Connecting directly with your smartphone, your videos and photos will be captured as memories for you to save and share.
 
Google Daydream, Pixel 2 & Pixel 2XL, Google Clips
Left to right: Google Daydream, Pixel 2XL & Google Clips
 

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning and AI were definitely the main buzzwords throughout the event. One of the first things Google discussed was their movement towards being an “AI-first” company. Google CEO Sundar Picha talked about how the future of Google lies in software and hardware. But with AI at the centre of both. Google doesn’t want AI to be another tickbox on their feature list. They’re using artificial intelligence and machine learning to underpin and inform all of their offerings across the board.
 
Google Maps Artificial Intelligence
Google is using AI & machine learning to improve Google Maps’ accuracy as well as provide a better user experience
 

Case Study: Google Maps using Artificial Intelligence to Improve the User Experience

Google have been using AI to improve the accuracy and overall user experience of Google Maps. The newly-introduced feature of finding car parking spaces uses artificial intelligence to track user patterns. The AI algorithm can even tell the difference between people using taxis and people finding parking spaces quickly. This information is then fed back to local users letting them know where they’re most likely to find parking.

Artificial Intelligence has also been instrumental for mapping out constantly changing cities like Lagos. Using machine learning, Google was able to accurately map out several thousand square feet of the city in just a few months. These features have had a huge impact on the end-user’s experience in Google Maps. And looking forward, AI will continue to improve the user experience even if you’re not aware of its involvement.

Excited about AI?

We’ve got you covered! Our MD Paul Jarrett recently gave a talk on AI at Digital Surrey. There, he discussed Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the future of business. Watch the video below or read the accompanying article to find out AI’s role in the customer journey. You can find this and many more insights on the Sonin YouTube channel.