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Google brings technology home with new product line-up

Google brings technology home with new product line-up
Google WiFi promises to boost home connectivity with an optimized WiFi signal in all parts of the home. - Photo by AFPRelax
WITH smartphones, a virtual reality headset, an intelligent personal assistant and a WiFi router, Google unveiled a whole host of handy new products for around the home at its latest major conference, October 4, 2016, in San Francisco.

A new range of smartphones
Google's new Pixel smartphones will replace the firm's former Nexus range, built in partnership with third-party manufacturers. Pixel mobiles are high-end handsets built 100% by Google, offering users an optimized Android Nougat experience. The two first Pixel models -- a 5-inch handset and a 5.5-inch device -- are already up for preorder in the USA starting from $649.

A new VR headset
The new Daydream View virtual reality headset is compatible with Google's two Pixel smartphones. It'll also work with upcoming handsets set to gain support for Google's Daydream 3D platform. The headset works in conjunction with a smartphone, which slots into the VR viewer, and ships with a sort of remote control that doubles up as a motion sensor. This relatively basic headset is considerably less sophisticated than the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, but it's set to sell for $79 in the USA when it launches in November.

A 24/7 intelligent assistant

Google Home is a voice-command service that brings the firm's intelligent personal assistant to any room of the house. In a similar setup to Amazon Echo, it responds to simple voice instructions starting with the traditional "Ok Google" opener, for instant info like tomorrow's weather forecast, for example, or for putting on music or for adjusting the temperature or lighting in different rooms. It'll be available in the USA from November 2016 priced $129.

A modular home WiFi system

Google WiFi promises to boost home connectivity with an optimized WiFi signal in all parts of the home. This router is controlled via an application and can be used to manage the home's various connected devices and their user profiles, as well as disconnect them if necessary. Google WiFi is due out in November priced $129 each or $299 for a pack of three.

New multimedia key              

Google's Chromecast hooks up to a TV's HDMI port to stream multimedia content over a WiFi network. The latest "Ultra" version gets support for 4K Ultra HD video and HDR content streamed from various devices. The Ultra remains compatible with a host of video applications, such as YouTube and Netflix. The Chromecast Ultra is out in November priced $69.

Check out Google Home in this video: youtu.be/nWiIWyCeZso