Google Banks On A.I. With New Pixel 2 Smartphones

Google has officially announced the sequel to last year’s Pixel smartphone.

(image via Google)

Like the previous iteration, the Google Pixel 2 comes in two sizes. One sports a 5″ OLED display, while the 6″ version features a pOLED (plastic OLED) screen. The devices feature IP67 water and dust resistance, and can be charged for seven hours of use in just 15 minutes.

But despite Google’s growing focus on hardware with the company’s recent acquisition of a small chunk of HTC, it’s the software that is the real emphasis with the Pixel 2. Computational photography capabilities enable to device accurately blur backgrounds on detailed portrait photos, and smooth out shakes in video taken on the move. A smarter Google Assistant – activated just by squeezing the device at its edges, can control smart home devices, answer questions, play music, and so on.

And then there’s Google Lens, Google’s big new machine vision system. In short, it’s designed to identify what the camera sees, from a Miles Davis record to the Eiffel Tower; it can even take the contact information from a business card and add it into a user’s list of contacts.

This appears to reflect a growing emphasis on sophisticated software among the top prestige smartphone makers – perhaps because in some ways the hardware doesn’t have much further to go – with Samsung also having recently announced some significant investments into artificial intelligence research, and increasingly promoting its new Bixby AI assistant. Hardware is still important in the smartphone race, of course; the pixel 2’s single-camera photography system may be able to mimic depth of field, while the new iPhones‘ dual camera systems actually produce it. But with Google catching up with – and in some ways surpassing – its smartphone rivals on the software front, it’s making a pretty compelling case for its phones despite its relatively recent entry into the mobile field.

Source: The Keyword