Google’s second computer glasses trial translates conversations in real time

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May 11 (Reuters) – Science fiction is harder to see in Google’s second try at glasses with a built-in computer.

A decade after the launch of Google Glass, a pair of nubby, sci-fi specs that filmed what wearers saw but raised privacy concerns and received low marks for design, the Alphabet unit Inc (GOOGL.O) previewed a still-unnamed standard-looking pair of glasses on Wednesday that display real-time translations of conversations and show no camera marks.

The new pair of augmented reality glasses was just one of many longer-term products Google unveiled at its annual Google I/O developer conference aimed at bridging the real world with the universe. digital search, maps and other business services using the latest advancements. in artificial intelligence.

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“What we’re working on is technology that allows us to break down language barriers, taking years of research in Google Translate and bringing that to the glasses,” said Eddie Chung, director of product management. at Google, calling the capability “subtitles for the world.”

Selling more hardware could help Google boost its profits by keeping users in its tech network, where it doesn’t have to share ad sales with device makers such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics CO (005930.KS) who help distribute its services.

Google also teased a tablet that will launch in 2023 and a smartwatch that will go on sale at the end of this year, as it unveils a strategy to offer a group of products comparable to Apple.

But Google’s hardware business remains small, with its global market share in smartphones, for example, below 1%, according to researcher IDC. Recently launched search challengers as well as ongoing antitrust investigations around the world into Google’s dominance in mobile software and other areas threaten to limit the company’s ability to gain traction in new ventures.

Alphabet shares fell 0.7% on Wednesday.

The reveal of the new glasses reflects the company’s growing caution amid greater scrutiny from Big Tech. When Google Glass was shown at I/O in 2012, skydivers used it to livestream a jump over a building in San Francisco, with the company securing special aerial clearance for the stunt.

This time around, Google only showed a video of its prototype, which displayed translations for conversations involving English, Mandarin, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

He did not specify a release date or immediately confirm that the device lacked a camera.

Along with the gadget, Google previously showed off a feature that would eventually let users take a video of store shelves with bottles of wine and have the search app perform functions like automatically identifying options. black-owned wineries.

Likewise, later this year, users will be able to take a photo of a product and locate nearby stores where it is available.

Also later this year, Maps will launch an immersive view for select major cities that merges Street View and aerial imagery “to create a rich digital model of the world,” Google said.

NEW MATERIAL

The tablet overturns Google’s decision three years ago to stop manufacturing its own after poor sales. It only shipped 500,000 of those units, according to IDC.

The new tablet follows increased user interest and was announced early to inform buyers considering alternatives, Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president for devices and services, told reporters.

He added that the Pixel Watch, which will not be compatible with Apple iPhones, will attract different users than Google’s Fitbit devices, which is associated with health and fitness and was acquired last year. last for $2.1 billion.

Among other announcements, a relaunched Google Wallet app will virtually store driver’s licenses in parts of the United States later this year, mirroring a feature Apple launched for Arizona on its iPhones in March.

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Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, California and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru. Editing by Paul Simao, Matthew Lewis, Nick Zieminski and Bernard Orr

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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