Google’s highly anticipated hardware event is just a few hours away and the technology giant is widely expected to release new smartphones, a smart home hub, WiFi router and updates on virtual reality (VR)
The U.S. firm is not aiming to take massive market share from the likes of Apple and Samsung, but instead it’s looking to stoke innovation in new product areas.
“This is really about new markets in software and services,” James Gautrey, a global sector specialist for technology and telecoms at Schroders, told CNBC in a TV interview on Tuesday.
Here’s what we know so far.
Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Google is slated to launch two smartphones – the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL. These take over from the company’s “Nexus” devices.
The devices appear to come in a silver and blue color, according to a premature posting on Verizon’s website which was spotted by Gizmodo. A fingerprint sensor is position on the back.
Google’s Pixel handsets are expected to come with top-of-the-range specs such as 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 821 processor manufactured by Qualcomm, according to another leak on the website of U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse. The smartphones are likely to have a premium price tag too.
Previous rumors have suggested that the devices will be manufactured by HTC.
Tech companies are betting that we are all going to be talking to devices to ask them to carry out tasks for us. To this end, Google is expected to give more details about Google Home, a small speaker that sits in your home and can control connected devices such as lights.
It’s Google’s answer to Amazon Echo – the speaker powered by its artificial intelligence software Alexa. Users can speak to Echo and it will carry out tasks.
Chromecast is a plug-in device that can be inserted into the HDMI port of a TV. A user can then project content from a mobile device on to the TV.
The Chromecast Ultra is the next generation version of this, and it’s rumored to support 4K video streaming – a resolution four times better than standard high definition pictures.
A report by the Android Police blog puts the price at $69, making it one of the cheapest offerings of its kind on the market.
Earlier this year, Google unveiled Daydream, a virtual reality platform built on top of Android.
It’s the successor to the company’s cheap Cardboard VR headset and combines both hardware and software. Daydream will only work with specific smartphones that incorporate the platform within the software.
Fans will be hoping that Google releases an actual VR headset as part of the Daydream project or further partners.
Google currently has a router called OnHub, but the news device slated for launch is going to be smarter and give users more control over their home WiFi network.
A report by Android Police suggests that the device will allow you to connect several small routers together to create one large wireless network, meaning WiFi connection in the home will be strong, no matter what room you are in.
The article also says that the hub will cost $129 when it is released.
Google is expected to unveil a new operating system that combines Android and Chrome OS in a laptop.
Codenamed “Bison”, according to Android Police, the idea is to create one unified operating system that can run across numerous devices – much like Windows or Apple’s operating systems.
This could pose a serious challenge to the likes of Microsoft and Apple.