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Google's second attempt at computer glasses translates conversations in real time

Google’s second attempt at computer glasses translates conversations in real time

May 11 (Reuters) – It’s hard to see science fiction at Google’s second attempt at glasses with a built-in computer.

A decade after the debut of Google Glass, a pair of hackneyed specs and sci-fi that depicted what its wearer saw but raised privacy concerns and scored low for design, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) The unit on Wednesday previewed a pair of as-yet-unnamed standard-looking glasses that display translations of conversations in real time and show no camera tip.

The new pair of augmented reality glasses was just one of several long-term products Google unveiled at its annual Google I/O Developers Conference that aims to connect the real world and the company’s digital world of search, maps and other services using the latest advances. in artificial intelligence.

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“What we’re working on is technology that enables us to break down language barriers, take years of research into Google Translate and bring that to glasses,” said Eddie Chung, director of product management at Google, describing the potential for the world.

Selling more devices can help Google increase its profits by keeping users in its technology network, as it doesn’t have to split ad sales with device makers like Apple Inc. (AAPL.O)And Samsung Electronics (005930.KS)that assists in distributing its services.

Google also introduced a tablet that will launch in 2023 and a smartwatch that will go on sale late this year, revealing a strategy to offer a range of Apple-like products.

But Google’s hardware business is still small, with its global market share in smartphones, for example, below 1%, according to researcher IDC. Search competitors have recently been launched along with ongoing antitrust investigations around the world into Google’s dominance of mobile software and other areas that threaten to limit the company’s ability to gain traction in new ventures.

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Alphabet shares fell 0.7 percent on Wednesday.

The unveiling of the new glasses reflects the company’s growing caution amid greater scrutiny of Big Tech. When Google Glass was shown at I/O in 2012, paragliders used it for a live broadcast to jump into a building in San Francisco, with the company receiving a special air pass for the adventure.

This time, Google only showed a video of its prototype, which featured subtitles for conversations including English, Mandarin, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

It did not specify a release date or immediately confirm that the device lacks a camera.

Separately from the tool, Google earlier rolled out a feature that would eventually let users take videos of store shelves with bottles of wine and ask the search app to perform functions such as automatically selecting options from Black-owned wineries.

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

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

new devices

The tablet reflects Google’s decision three years ago to abandon its manufacture after poor sales. It has only shipped 500,000 of these units, according to the International Data Center.

Rick Osterloh, Google’s vice president of devices and services, told reporters that the new tablet comes after increased user interest, and was announced early to inform buyers who are considering alternatives.

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

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Among other announcements, the relaunched Google Wallet app will actually store driver’s licenses in some US regions later this year, mirroring a feature Apple first introduced in Arizona on its iPhones in March.

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Additional reporting by Parrish Dave in Oakland, California, and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru. Editing by Paul Simao, Matthew Lewis, Nick Czyminsky and Bernard Orr

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.