The might of Google - powered straight into your ear

The Pixel Bud is a wireless headphone connected to Google Assistant that offers an “intelligent” AI - right in your ear. The Pixel Bud promises to overcome language boundaries - courtesy of real-time translation - and can tackle tasks that you issue.

Who needs to rummage into the depths of their bag looking for a smartphone? When the Pixel Bud drops later this year, it’ll offer information at the tap of an earbud, wrapped up in a juicy price point of $159.

What is it?

With the bud wedged into your ear, you can activate Google Assistant by touching the right earbud. Then you ask any question, just like you would do when using your smartphone. Where is the nearest tube station? How do I get there? Google’s autonomous assistant will answer directly in your ear.

You can give your assistant other instructions as well and it will read the answers aloud, or send a text message to your phone. In addition, you can make and answer phone calls and, of course, you can listen to music. Gestures on the right earbud allow you to play and pause and to adjust the volume.

Battery-life is touted to be five hours. You recharge it using their etui, which also serves as a powerbank, providing an extra 24 hours of battery life.

Real-time translation - on tap

The Pixel Bud could be a potent communication tool. Real-time translation - on tap. Talk to anyone - anywhere.

Ask the earbuds for help in a specific language, and Google Translate pops to life. Start talking, and your words are translated into the foreign language, and broadcast over your phone’s loudspeaker. When someone talks back, their answers are translated through your headphones.

To be honest, we all know that Google Translator occasionally struggles with complex sentences, and it’s unlikely to be a mainstay of the United Nations General Assembly any time soon. But as an everyday companion that can serve 40 languages, it could be very useful indeed.

A passing fad, or groundbreaking tech?

Smart headphones are not entirely new as Apple already has the AirPod. Nor is real-time translation a first. What is exciting is that this technology is being democratised beyond Apple disciples, and that the price is being reduced (headphones previously released by Bose that included Google Assitant cost a small fortune, at $350).

Might we call carry an autonomous assistant with us in the future? Are smartphone screens slowly set to become obsolete? Sound off on the comments below.

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