What to Look for at the Made By Google Event on Oct. 15
Google is hosting its 2019 Made by Google event Tuesday morning in New York City and anticipation about what the tech giant plans to unveil is peaking. While there are no guarantees about what will be on display, a good deal can be extrapolated based on earlier announcements and a plethora of leaks. There’s a lot to look for in terms of voice technology and artificial intelligence. Here’s what you should keep an eye out to learn at the event:
The Google Pixel 4 smartphone is expected to be the centerpiece of the event, largely due to the number of leaks about the design and features of the smartphone, including a brief early appearance on Best Buy Canada’s online store. It also would fit in terms of timing as the Pixel 3 was announced around the same time last year. Google tweeted out a picture of the back of the phone officially recently, showing off the multiple camera lenses of the new phone. There will probably be two sizes of the Pixel 4 a standard and an XL, all running on the Android 10 operating system.
Google Assistant will be built into the new Pixel as usual, but with a few updates according to previous reports. A new Raise to Wake feature is expected to be announced, so that lifting the phone becomes a wake word for Google Assistant. The voice assistant will then shut off after a couple of seconds if it doesn’t hear a command. The voice assistant will also offer to stay on hold during phone calls for Pixel 4 owners. The program, reportedly called Hold My Phone, will get Google Assistant to listen to hold music for the Pixel user and alerting them when someone actually answers the call.
A new feature called Motion Sense is also rumored, allowing control of some of the phone’s functions via gestures. That sounds similar to Google’s Jacquard technology, which is used to control phone functions by gesture in the new Levi’s jacket built in collaboration with Google.
Google’s Pixel Buds face a lot more competition since they first arrived last year. Amazon, Samsung, and other brands have all jumped into the hearables market. And the live translation feature that was a major selling point for the original Pixel Buds is less unique this year after Google extended it to other Google Assistant headphones. To compete, the new Pixel Buds model will remove the wired tether between the buds present in the current version and it may be possible to ask for Google Assistant by voice instead of requiring a tap to awaken it.
Google Nest Mini and WiFi
The rebranded Google Nest smart speaker and smart display line will almost certainly make an appearance at the event. Leaks about the Nest Mini, a smaller version of the Google Net Hub have been flying over the last few days. The smart speaker is supposedly going to cost only $50, putting it in direct competition with the similarly priced Amazon Echo Dot.
Approaching smart speakers from a different angle, Google is expected to reveal a new Nest WiFi router with Google Assistant built-in. Instead of just networking routers together, the Nest WiFi will use one central router with smaller beacons built with microphones and speakers offering access to Google Assistant and allowing voice control of internet access. That could be a huge step for Google as it works to dominate the smart home market.
Other products, like a new Pixelbook Go laptop, are expected to make an appearance during the presentation. And there’s always a chance for a new version of Google Glass to try for a comeback.
The 2019 Made by Google event will take place Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. EDT. You can stream the event on Google’s YouTube page, and follow along with Voicebot as we cover the event and its announcements.