Google I/O: The search giant’s second test of computer glasses translates conversations in real time

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MOUNTAIN VIEW (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) – 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 Wednesday, May 11 previewed a yet-unnamed pair of standard-looking glasses that display real-time conversation translations and show no camera traces.

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 gap between the real world and the universe. digital search, maps and other business services using the latest advancements. in artificial intelligence.

“What we’re working on is technology that allows us to break down language barriers, taking years of research into Google Translate and bringing that to the glasses,” said Mr. Eddie Chung, Managing Director products at Google, referring to this capability as “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 like Apple and Samsung Electronics that 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 anti-trust 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 companies.

Alphabet shares fell 0.7% on Wednesday.

The reveal of the new bezels reflects the company’s growing caution amid increased 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 allow users to take a video of store shelves with bottles of wine and have the search app perform functions like automatically identifying options. black-owned wineries.

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