As it happened:Google unveils AI-powered Pixel phone, Home and 4K Chormecast | tech$news | Hindustan Times
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As it happened:Google unveils AI-powered Pixel phone, Home and 4K Chormecast

tech Updated: Oct 07, 2016 14:23 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Anirban Ghoshal
Hindustan Times
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(Google)

Google just turned 18 and it already seems ready to take the fight to rivals like Apple and Amazon -- at least in terms of devices.

The company is expected to launch new smartphones, a smarter Chromecast, Google Home and a new OS to take on its rivals.

Watch: Google’s live event below

Here are the live updates straight from the event:

10: 55 PM: Quite often Siri can get like half of what users ask done and then kicks the user to the app to finish it. Google is promising to avoid that with “conversation actions.” But making a conversation is super not easy for companies not named Google or Apple. If the app needs to ask you questions or get confirmation from you, that’s a conversation action. Bots, basically. Google is using API.AI, which is a platform which will help with this sort of thing. Current partners: CNN, Uber, etc. Google is making an SDK so other people can make stuff with the Assistant. Sort of like how Amazon lets other hardware makers use Alexa.

10:49 PM: Google to promote Home with assistant as ‘conversation as a a platform’. Google’s lead engineer for Google Assistant, Scott Huffman, shows off the open developer platform for Home. The platform will go live in December.

10:46 PM: Google Home to come in 6 colours. To retail at $129 in the US. Pre-orders start today with products shipping after November 4. Multiple Home can be placed in one house making it easy to control.

10:44 PM: Google Home can create a shopping list via voice commands. This sounds great, and will compete with Amazon’s Echo, but we’re not sure if this will coming to India. Google Home connects with Next, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. You can use Google Home to voice control your TV via Chromecast.

Netflix to soon support voice support on Home. Users can stream clicks from Photos on TV too.

10:39 PM: It can take advantage of information on the web (via Maps) and read out local traffic and weather conditions. It can take advantage of speech recognition and translate to teach users phrases

10:36 PM: Google Home can take advantage of featured snippets. It reads out the answer to a query and mentions which site it is quoting. Search algorithm takes the most authentic sites to quote.

10:35 PM: Google Home supports multiple music services. You can play Google Play Music stations by voice, too. Search also comes in-built. It can play news, podcasts and other files. It can take support of Cast Audio as well letting users stream music from smartphones.

10:29 PM: Enters Google Home -- a solution, the company claims is a solution to free users to free users from smartphones. Home will come with filters that will help in voice search. Rishi Chandra takes to stage to demo Home. “It only listens to hot keywords when you want,” the company claimed.

10.22 PM: Google launches Google Chromecast Ultra. It will support 4K content. Google Play Movies will roll out some 4K content soon. The product will retail for $69 from November.

10:21 PM: Google showcases network assisted Google wifi.Network assist works in the background to provide seamless connectivity. It also comes with an app which can control the routers for parental guidance. Google wifi to retail for $129 for single packs and $299 for larger homes. Shipping starts in December.

10:20 PM: Google showcases Home now -- a rival to Amazon Echo which comes with Alexa.

10:19 PM: YouTube also gets support on Daydream. All 360-degree videos are supported. Google showcases a video of the London museum where dinosaurs come back to life. Google Daydream along with controller to cost $79.

10:18 PM: Google shows off JK Rowling-based fantasy game. Users can be the wizard with the controller turning into a wand. Another game which lets users explore the solar system is also showcased. Netflix, Hulu and other apps are bringing their libraries to Daydream. The VR headset can also access Photos and can take users to different locations to explore just like the Taj Mahal.

10:17 PM: Google launches a new VR headsest-- Daydream VR along with a controller. The controller can just snug into Daydream headset (anti-loss). Clay drops the nifty device as he was just saying that Google works on details.

10:16 PM: Google, just like Apple, has not changed the price of its phone.

10:15 PM: The phone will be available via Flipkart, Croma, and Reliance Digital in India (based on a slide Google showed). It’s a Verizon exclusive in the US. And will be available unlocked via Google Store for $649. Available for pre-orders today in US, Australia, Canada.

Starting at INR 57,000, Pixel will be available for pre-order in India starting October 13th 2016 on www.flipkart.com and at over 1000 plus organized and multi-brand retail stores with leading retail partners including Reliance Digital, Croma and Vijay sales among others. India is among the first six countries where Pixel is being launched.

Pixel will be available in India in two sizes - 5” or 5.5” and two colours - Quite Black and Very Silver with memory configurations of 32GB and 128GB sizes.

10:10 PM: Pixel to come with two editions -- 5.5-inch and 5-inch. The phones will come with Daydream VR technology inbuilt. Will be available in three colours -- Very Silver, Really Blue and Quite Black. To be available in India for pre-order from October 13.

10:05 PM: Sabrina Ellis takes to stage to explain about battery and updates. Claims phone can surivive seven hours in just 15 minutes of charge. Google Duo, a new video chat app, will come pre-installed in the phone. A new customer care app also to come pre-installed. Updates are automatic.

10:00 PM: Pixel comes with better optical image stabilisation. Camera to come with unlimited photos, video storage in original resolution under Google photos. 4K resolution photos can also be stored.

9:56 PM: Pixel smartphone cameras to come with incremental features like burst shorts, HDR+. Google is using an intelligent programme to take better quality photos with less blur. The cameras also have zero shutter lag.

9.55 PM: The Assistant can also draw up Maps and keep on answering contextual queries. It can even book a reservation in different restaurants. It also alerts users about email confirmations after the booking.

9.53 PM: Brian Rakwoski takes tot the stage to show off Assistant in Pixel smartphone. Users can simply tap the home button to call on the Assistant (just like Siri). Users can ask assistant to hunt for old pictures, play songs, decide venues...pretty much everything. “It is the power of Google Search built in.” Users can also send texts using third party apps like WhatsApp and can calls too.

9:51 PM: Oterloh shows off Pixel. Says that the phone comes with no camera bump (obviously a dig at Apple). Pixel to come with better camera, Alllo, Google Assistant and Google cloud for extra storage.

9:48 PM: Osterloh says Google Assistant to come on phones and on Google Home.”Google hardware to come with assistant at the centre with a mix of good software and hardware.”

9:45 PM: Pichai hands over to Rick Osterloh to talk more about Google Assistant.

9:41 PM: Google working towards human-level translation with new machine learning systems. “Chinese to English translations has progressed immensely. Soon people will be able to search for more advanced queries,” he said.

9:39 PM: Pichai says that Google had launched machine learning in 2014. Two years ago, Google had an efficiency of 89% which has now been scaled up to 92%. “This might not mean much but AI is learning how to understand more about pictures,” Pichai claims.

9:37 PM: AV plays which shows the vision of Google Assistant. Pichai says Google has invested in deep areas of knowledge science, deep learning and machine learning.

9:35 PM: Pichai says that Google is moving towards an artificial intelligence (AI) first platform from a mobile platform. Says the Google Assistant will be universal and build a personal Google for everyone.

9.30 PM: Google keynote starts with an AV, same as iPhone launch where Tim Cook was in a car. Actor in AV says Sergey will fire Larry from a cannon.

9:05 PM: People are being badged up as they slowly start to take their seats.

9:00 PM: The venue is at Ghirardelli Square and people are coming in and waiting for the event to start.

The internet search giant often releases new devices at this time of the year. This time it is expected to show off new smartphones and other hardware as well as offer more information about its Internet-connected speaker, a rival to Amazon’s popular Echo device.

Last year, Google unveiled its Nexus 6P and 5X smartphones on September 29. And two years ago, it announced the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet on October 15.