Google Is Reportedly Developing Smart Headphones: Will It Suffer The Same Fate As The Google Glass?
There's a convincing piece of evidence that suggests Google is developing smart headphones. These pair of cans will reportedly support Google Assistant, which indicates the user can issue voice commands while wearing them.
The latest beta of the Google mobile rolled out recently, and with it came new information about "Bisto." This allegedly new device was first referenced in version 7.0 back in April, and then returned via version 7.9 early August. The latest version now confirms that Bisto is actually a pair of smart headphones with Google Assistant built-in.
Here's the particular line of code mentioning Bisto, discovered through an APK teardown by 9to5Google:
"Your headphones have the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It's your own personal Google, always ready to help."
Here's What Google's Smart Headphones Could Do
There are a couple of things the headphones could do. Since it most likely won't feature any screen of some sort for touch controls, we're betting that Google will make Bisto fully voice-controlled, or at least pair it with a smartphone to access its more complex features.
Besides giving commands and answering queries, the pair of headphones will also be able to route and play notifications directly from your phone, which confirms pairing will be essential. The user can then reply to these notifications via voice.
Instead of touch controls, the code suggest physical ones, with references to several hardware buttons, including one dedicated to bringing up Google Assistant and a "top button." One line of code suggests users have to press and hold — perhaps the dedicated Assistant button — to make a query.
Google Smart Headphones: Will It Be Bundled With The Pixel 2?
There is also a string of code suggesting the headphones can update over-the-air, which means they are Wi-Fi enabled, in addition to having Bluetooth capabilities. If you think about it, there's certainly a possibility that the headphones could launch alongside the Pixel 2 — which rumors say won't have a headphone jack. Google could even throw in a free pair for every Pixel 2 purchase — Samsung does for the Galaxy S8, bundling the phone with AKG earbuds.
Another Google Glass Situation?
Google hasn't exactly been successful with its wearable projects — just look at what happened to the Google Glass. Initially launched to much hype, the device, which essentially displays a screen onto the iris and can be controlled via voice, was later pulled, although it's making a comeback.
But unlike smart glasses, smart headphones are less of a challenge to develop and are less disruptive than a device that projects images and information onto your eye frequently.
It remains uncertain whether or not Bisto will ever see the light of day, and if it does, we're not sure if Google plans on marketing it to mainstream customers.