Google held its Google Conference last Wednesday (4th October) where the company has showcased its new products. New phones and other new gadgets had been shown at the conference held in San Francisco.
We got much more than just a new Pixel smartphone as Google expanded their product offerings massively with some exciting new releases which are sure to get Apple’s attention.
Let’s take a look at what we found out at the conference:
Originally there was the Google Home, and now there are two additional variants to it.
One of those is the Google Home Mini. The name speaks for itself—it is a smaller counterpart of the Google Home. It is about the size of a doughnut, is wrapped in fabric and has the indicator LED lights just below the surface.
The Google Home Mini will come in three different colors and would be priced at $49 and will come out this October, and looks to be a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Dot.
On the other side is the Google Home Max. This is Google’s answer to Apple’s HomePod. It can stand either horizontally or vertically, and can connect through Cast or Bluetooth.
Cable connection can be done as well. Its price is $399 and will be coming out in December. With much larger speakers and intelligent room sensor technology this could be the big product for music lovers.
Phone calls can also be made through Google Home, and this feature will be available in the UK soon.
This feature is already out in the US and Canada, and Japanese support will also be coming out later this week.
The all new Pixelbook
Next up they announced the Google Pixelbook. The Pixelbook is a four in one tablet, as it can be a laptop or else when folded up can be a tablet. It can even be flipped over with the keyboard functioning as its kickstand.
Think much more Microsoft Surface rather than MacBook Pro…or MacBook Pro with iPad built in.
It has 16GB RAM and up to 512 GB of storage. The base model is $999 and will be shipping this October.
To add functionality to it, there is also the Pixelbook Pen which will cost $99.
However the highlight once again is on software and the Google Assistant and some incredibly technology which makes the Pixel phone the obvious companion to the Pixelbook.
Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL
Perhaps one of the most anticipated that has come out from the Google Conference is the Google Pixel 2. It comes in two sizes. One is a 5-inch model, while the other is the 6-inch XL variant.
It will be in an all-aluminum body and a curved OLED display. Just like the latest iPhone, the Pixel 2 doesn’t have a headphone jack. Instead, it will have USB-C and ship with a USB-C to headphone adapter.
One feature that defines the Pixel 2 is its camera. With the Pixel 2, it can be on portrait mode with the camera focused on the subject while the background is given a DSLR blur, something that could be done so far with two camera lenses.
With the Pixel 2, this could now be done on a single camera. Last year the original pixel was the market leading smartphone camera and it looks like the Pixel 2 will retain Google’s crown on that front.
Once again Google has been busy with the Google Assistant and making useful software to make our lives more connected. The Pixel 2 will also include an music recognition feature on the homepage where it will display the song that is playing wherever you are.
That combined with flawless compatibility with both the Google Home and Pixelbook means Google are building out their eco-system of devices nicely.
Google Pixel Buds
One noticeable casualty of the original Pixel however is the headphone jack. Applauded last year for retaining it after Apple got rid, this year Google has also decided to remove the dedicated port.
As mentioned above they are including an adapter in the box that will connect headphones to the USB-C port.
But that isn’t enough for Google and they have once again created a brand new product in Google Pixel Buds.
These are wireless earphones connected by a strap so less likely to lose that the Apple counterparts. The biggest difference however is the tech included!
On stage Google gave a live demonstration of an incredible feature of real world real time translation. One English speaker and one Swedish speaker conversing in their native language with the Pixel Buds doing the real time translation directly in the ear.
This has massive real world potential and could be one of the big game changers nobody was anticipating.
Another that has come out of the Google Conference are AR stickers. These are interactive 3D models that can be placed when on camera view. Put a number of AR stickers together and they can interact with each other.
Utilising AR Core this got a slight mention but was obviously aimed as something comparative to the Apple animoji’s. The feeling was this was a bit of a light hearted gimmick and the main focus here is on useful hardware and software.
This device is a small camera that can clip on anything. Its basic feature is that it uses machine learning to take photos, instead of the person doing it.
It can recognize people and will take photos automatically once a scene is stable. Its price is around $249, and according to Google it will be coming soon.
Whilst it has a ‘Premium’ price tag for what looks like a small product, there is nothing quite like it on the market at the minute and the machine learning is clearly the main selling point.
It will be curious to see how Google Clips will be received by the people as whilst it is a clever piece of technology, we will have to wait and see if it solves a problem people were having.
The impact on eCommerce
Some are pretty straight forward—the Pixelbook and Pixel 2 will likely play important roles in eCommerce especially with mobile eCommerce becoming widely used.
Google Home can become part of eCommerce, and Commerce in general, especially in places that are connected to Google and Chromecast.
Google Nest cams will be voice activated, which can lend itself well to a more automated eCommerce setting in the future.
AR stickers as well could have a place in eCommerce as augmented reality becomes popular. Marketing and product promotions can be done through AR stickers then. Many of these will find much use in the coming years especially for eCommerce.
All in all it seems apparent that Google is really focusing on the Google Assistant and the power of voice. Further proof that a more connected world means that Voice Commerce (V-Commerce) could be the next big market adjustment in buying online.
So, with so many products that have come out from the Google Conference, which do you think would make an impact for eCommerce? Share and discuss all about it in the section below.