Alphabet Inc’s Google – at the Google I/O developer conference – has previewed a pair of glasses that display translations of conversations in real time.
“What we’re working on is technology that enables us to break down language barriers, taking years of research in Google Translate and bringing that to glasses,” said Eddie Chung, director of product management at Google.
Selling more hardware could help Google increase profit by keeping users in its network of technology, where it does not have to split ad sales with device makers such as Apple and Samsung Electronics that help distribute its services, Reuters news report said.
Google also teased a tablet to be launched in 2023 and a smartwatch that will go on sale late this year, as it unveils a strategy to offer a group of products comparable to Apple.
Google’s hardware business remains small, with its global market share in smartphones, for instance, under 1 percent, according to IDC. Recently launched challengers in search along with ongoing antitrust investigations across the world into Google’s dominance in mobile software and other areas threaten to limit the company’s ability to gain steam in new ventures.
The reveal of the new glasses reflect the company’s growing caution amid greater scrutiny on Big Tech. Google showed a video of its prototype, which displayed translations for conversations involving English, Mandarin, Spanish and American Sign Language.
Google did not specify a release date or immediately confirm that the device lacked a camera.
Google said users later this year will be able to snap a photo of a product and locate nearby stores where it is available.
Later this year, Maps will launch an immersive view for some big cities that fuses Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world, Google said.
The tablet reverses Google’s decision three years ago to abandon making its own after poor sales. It shipped just 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 senior vice president for devices and services, told reporters.
The Pixel Watch, which will not be compatible with Apple’s iPhones, will attract different users than devices from Google’s Fitbit, which is associated with health and fitness and was acquired last year for $2.1 billion.
Google’s Wallet app will virtually store drivers licenses in some areas of the United States later this year, mirroring a feature Apple debuted for Arizona on its iPhones in March.