Technology Other News 11 Oct 2016 Get ready to get 'Go ...

Get ready to get 'Googled'!

Published Oct 11, 2016, 11:39 am IST
Updated Oct 11, 2016, 12:06 pm IST
The Web giant now straddles the entire IT universe -- hardware, software and service
Google Pixel, Google Home and Google Daydream
 Google Pixel, Google Home and Google Daydream

After Vamana stepped from heaven to earth with his first stride and from the earth to the nether world with his second, there was no place to place his foot, except on the head of Mahabali. Google has been finding itself in a similar situation. Having dominated the Web software and services space with the Google search engine, the Chrome browser and the Android operating system for phones, the company had no worlds left to conquer — except hardware. Last week, it put down its foot on this final frontier — announcing a slew of new hardware products.

At the vanguard, is a premium mobile phone, the Pixel. The first handset, designed and developed by Google, sports a set of specifications that make comparisons with the iPhone inevitable: a 5-inch full HD screen to the iPhone's 4.7-inch sub HD; 4GB RAM (to iPhone's 2GB); 12.3MP and 8MP cameras; 2770mAh battery; internal storage with a choice between 32GB and 128GB (the iPhone goes up to 256 GB), matching 4K Ultra HD video shooting. Pixel also comes in a bigger (5.5-inch) model called Pixel Plus with a beefed up 3450mAh battery. Both standard USB 3 and Type C USB ports are offered. The special feature of the phones is the voice-based Google smart Assistant, similar to iPhone's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Windows' Cortana. The Pixel phones will range in price from Rs 57,000 to Rs 76,000 -- so clearly, they are not meant for the mass market in a way that the Android operating system and the Google browser were.

The upmarket tilt to Google's first phone is also apparent in its other hardware launches: a $129 (Rs 9,000) smart Wi-Fi-enabled speaker called 'Home' that promises to answer all your spoken questions and connect you to online selling sites and the like, when not belting out your chosen music; a $79 (Rs 5,500) Virtual Reality headset, called Daydream View and a new version of its video streaming dongle, Chromecast, that is updated for 4K ($69 /Rs 4,800).

This is clearly a new Google avatar, aiming its sights at elite customers for whom paisa vasool is not the prime consideration. Will it find takers in a segment where competing brands have had a long history of customer loyalty? Who knows -- and who cares?



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