GOOGLE unveils newest Pixel handsets aiming to boost its smartphone market share.

Google on Tuesday unveiled its newest Pixel handsets, aiming to boost its smartphone market share with features including gesture recognition that lets users simply wave their hands to get things done.

Pixel 4 models made their public debut at a ''Made by Google'' event as the Internet titan updated its hardware lineup head of the of the year-end shopping season.

Google said Pixel 4 has a starting price of $799 in the United States for the model with 5.7 inch display and will be available starting October 24. A larger 6.3 inch Pixel XL will start at $899.

The new device aims to ramp up Google's challenge in the premium smartphone segment dominated by Samsung and Apple, which recently unveiled an iPhone 11 starting at $699.

Google's New York City event unveiled included updates to Nest smart home cameras and speakers and also announced its streaming game service Stadia would launch November 19.

While Pixel smartphones have struggled for traction in the smartphone market, they provide an opportunity to showcase the Android operating system's capabilities and the Google Assistant, powered by artificial intelligence.

Pixel 4 a features improved camera capabilities, using artificial intelligence to boost optical zoom and take better photos taken after dark, with a feature devoted to capturing images of the heavens at night.

Motion-sensing technology that Google has been working on for some time is built into Pixel 4 and will allow for some basic controls, such as silencing alarms or skipping to the next song, by holding up or waving hands.

The handsets also includes a ''face unlock'' feature similar to to those on iPhones and other devices.

Google's hardware push comes with the company facing heightened scrutiny over its dominant position in Internet search and digital advertising.

Amid antitrust reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, Google is seeking to diversify its business by adding more devices and services.

The California-based Internet titan will launch its Stadia streaming game service on November 19, hoping to send console-quality play soaring into the cloud.

Stadia allows video game play on any Internet-connected device, eliminating the need for games consoles.

It will be priced at $9.99 per month and compete against Apple Arcade, which is being offered at half that price.

Google updated products across its hardware line, from Nest smart home devices Chromebook laptops and wireless ear buds infused with artificial intelligence.

A common theme was making it more natural to use google to tap into the Internet and digital assistant capabilities naturally with voice or gestures at any time.

The notion of online services and machine smarts being all around and always ready to serve people instead of needing them to tap at smartphones or keyboards is referred to as ''ambient computing''.

''Our vision for ambient computing is to create a single, consistent experience anywhere you go,'' said Rick Osterloh, head of Google's hardware division. [AFP]


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