Google has announced the release of their Pixel Buds which can translate 40 different languages in real time reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s babel fish


When people first heard about Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s babel fish, they never imagined that a similar device would one day become a reality. However, such a device is here today in the form of Google’s new Pixel Buds. These Bluetooth earbuds are capable of translating 40 languages in real time through merely activating the buds.


International travel has just gotten so much simpler with Google’s¬†Pixel Buds. A simple tap on the buds enables the user to communicate in real time with locals. This means no more bungling around flipping pages of a phrasebook! Google demonstrated the new buds at their event on October 4th to an astounded crowd. Immediately, reviewers rushed to test out the new Google product.


Dieter Bohn from The Verge gave a thorough rundown of the Pixel Bud experience

Bohn describes various features about the buds which appear to be inferior to Apple AirPods, or for example, the Jaybird Bluetooth headsets. However, what makes the Pixel Buds stand out from the AirPods is their ability to translate languages in real time. So if you don’t need to utilize translation services much, then you may not feel so drawn to the $159 product.


One controversy surrounding the Pixel Buds is their similarity to another product that was put on Kickstarter at the beginning of the year. Entrepreneur Danny Manu described his innovation at Venturefest 2016, and it sounds remarkably similar to Google’s pixel buds. The 28-year-old had been applying the finishing touches to his product Mymanu Clik. Manu’s product is capable of translating 37 languages in real time. When asked if he was disappointed by Google beating him in the real-time translation game, he said he wasn’t worried. He plans on eventually providing a superior product.




Pixel earbuds are limited in usage

Currently, Pixel Buds only offer the Google translation service when the user pairs them with a Pixel Phone. Technically, the earbuds are called neck buds. This is because crucial wiring exists within the cord that connects the two buds. Already Google has had to send out warnings to consumers that cutting the cord will invalidate the product’s warranty.

The buds contain touch controls. The user can swipe left or right depending on what they want for the volume. However, they buds rely on a lot of speech from the user. This can be off-putting to many consumers. This is because it makes the product difficult to use in situations where talking is inappropriate. Indeed, it is convenient to access Google assistant just by talking. However, it is inconvenient to keep asking the earbuds to skip songs in a public space like work or when others are sleeping.


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Not optimal for the music-obsessed consumer

Another unique aspect of the buds as that, unlike other earphone products, the buds do not sit inside the ear canal. Reviewers noted that they were able to still hear things in their surroundings while using the product. This can be quite frustrating to the user who wishes to listen to loud music in order to block out their surroundings!

The earbuds come in a self-charging case that allows 5 charges. This gives approximately 24 hours of play. One just has to hope the charge does not deplete at the same time one wishes to use them!


References: The Verge, Google Store, Android Authority, Business Cloud

Image credit: Google