Deep in the heart of San Francisco this week, Google were unveiling a whole new line of products that have been influenced by the impending move to an artificial intelligence orientated society and the rise of the Internet of Things.
Other tech companies may well have been taking a close look at Google’s new offerings and what it sees as the designs for the future. Whether the tech giant is still the market leader it may like to think it is, there’s no doubt Google has a good few hardware innovations coming onto the market and they could just make a difference to you at home.
It had been bandied about on the internet and in tech circles that Google was about to unveil a new phone. This week the Pixel got its first stage appearance and is now available for pre-order. If you think that much resembles the iPhone then you won’t be far off the mark though this is an android phone pure and simple. It comes in a normal 5-inch screen size and a XL 5.5 inch one and is available in 32GB and 128GB models. There are no great surprises but picture storage on Google Photos is unlimited.
The VR Headset
Light, easy to wear and, above all, cheap, the Daydream View is Google’s latest VR headset and it could well be a winner. Due to be out on the market by the middle of November, these are a follow on from Google’s earlier cardboard VR sets and can work with any phone that has the Daydream platform installed. With many companies vying to make the cheapest and most workable headsets, this could be a game changer as long as the VR app market starts to grow.
The Google Wi-Fi Network
If you’ve ever wanted to control the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, the Google Wi-Fi solution might be just the thing you are looking for. Rather than one centralised router you have smaller ones dotted around the home to create a more consistent network. There’s even a mobile app to go with it which can help you manage your network.
The Google Home
Tying into the growth of devices that are considered part of the Internet of Things, the Google Home is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo. What does it do? It’s a voice activated speaker that can also act as a smart home control centre. Because it can access the Google Assistant you can use it to connect to your smartphone and set alarms and timers. It’s early days for this kind of tech but the Google Home product could well be a surprise success when it goes on the market later this year.
Other additions to the Google product line included the Chromecast Ultra which can now handle 4K video (something which the original Chromecast couldn’t). One surprise omission from Google’s recent unveiling was the Andromeda operating system that is supposed to provide a bridge between android and Chrome – that could mean development is still having issues and we’ll have to wait a little longer till it sees the light of day.
All in all, Google has released some interesting new hardware. No doubt most eyes will be on how the phone performs and whether the VR headset begins to get the sales the company hopes for.