Google’s new device can translate 40 languages in real time

A man tries on a pair of Google Pixel Buds headphones during a launch event in San Francisco, California, U.S. Oct 4, 2017.

TECH giant Google has launched a smart earbud that is capable of translating 40 languages in real time.

Due to hit store shelves in November at US$159 a pair, the Google Pixel buds is set to rival Apple’s AirPod headphones, but with the remarkable ability to translate the high number of languages.

The real-time translation can happen at the mere touch of a button or by saying phrases like, “help me speak Spanish”, arstechnica reported.

The catch, however, is that the smart ear buds do not work as a standalone device, as it needs to be paired with a newly-launched Google Pixel 2 phone.

The Google Pixel buds will utilise the Google Assistant, an Artificial Intelligence-powered, voice-activated assistant.

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“We have improved our translation ability more in one single year than all our improvements over the last 10 years combined,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told investors.

The announcement on the earbuds on Wednesday come as Alphabet Inc’s Google unveiled the second generation of its Pixel smartphone along with new voice-enabled home speakers, redoubling its commitment to the hardware business as it competes with a surge of devices from Apple and Amazon.

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Google’s new products, including a Pixelbook laptop and a small GoPro-like camera, showcase Google-developed operating systems and services, notably the voice assistant. That means usage of those devices should stoke the company’s core ad sales business as buyers of the hardware use Google services like search and maps.

The Pixel smartphone debuted a year ago, with analysts estimating sales of more than 2 million, pushing Google to record amounts of non-advertising revenue.