Search giant Google on Wednesday unveiled a concept for bridging its digital universe with the real world using new artificial intelligence advances.
Earlier this year, Google also hinted at a tablet to be released in 2023 and a smartwatch that will be available later this year as part of a goal to offer a range of devices equivalent to Apple Inc’s that may reap large profits from Google’s ad revenue.
For the first time, Google demonstrated a feature that would allow users to snap a video of wine bottles on display at a liquor store and have the app recognize which ones were owned by black businesses.
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“This is like having a supercharged Ctrl+F for the world around you,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president at Google, referring to the keyboard shortcut for finding something in a document. “You can search your whole world, asking questions anyway and anywhere.”
According to Raghavan, customers will be able to take a picture of a product and have it show up on a map of local retailers this year.
Google said that later this year, Maps will add an immersive view for some big cities that combines Street View and aerial images “to create a rich digital model of the world.”
A new Google Wallet app will be released later this year that will allow users to store virtual driver’s licenses in some locations of the United States, similar to a service Apple introduced in Arizona on its iPhones in March.
After the conference, Alphabet shares rose by around 0.5 percent. This time, the conference was held virtually because of COVID-19.
Due to low sales three years ago, Google discontinued developing its own tablets. The Pixel wristwatch with its circular face could undercut Fitbit in the near future.
Most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising, which has been on the rise since the epidemic, and smartphones pushed people to spend more time on the internet.
However, in the long run, Google’s focus may shift to devices. With its own devices advertising, Google is able to generate a bigger profit margin since it doesn’t have to split sales with hardware partners like Apple, which help distribute Google services on their devices.
Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president for devices and services, told reporters that it was unusual to tease a product a year in advance, noting that the tablet, which will cost a premium and be on the bigger end, follows consumer interest.
“Users are thinking about an ecosystem,” Osterloh said. “We are newer to this space, and we wanted to give people more of a view of where we are headed.”
According to market research company IDC, Google’s prior tablet effort sold fewer than 500,000 units.
Google’s Pixel Watch, which will not work with Apple’s iPhones, according to Osterloh, will appeal to a different demographic than Fitbit’s. Fitbit was purchased by Google for $2.1 billion in January 2021.
There’s also Google’s new Pixel 6a smartphone, which is less powerful than the more costly Pixel 6 and goes on sale July 21 for $449. According to IDC, Google’s smartphones only account for about half of all shipments, with the “A” series being the most popular.
Osterloh also announced that Google will open a second retail location, this time in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, following the successful introduction of a larger location in Manhattan last year. For more such content do follow us only on leedaily.com