Why Is Google Getting Serious About Hardware?

By Alan Olsen
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Everyone knows Google is the leading search engine, but its ventures into hardware have so far been a mixed bag of results. The company made its intentions clear back when the smartphone era was in its infancy, declaring it would not get into the business of making hardware. However, after several years of standing on the sidelines, the company did an about-face and acquired Motorola Mobility. Then, just two years later, Google changed its mind again and abruptly sold it’s new toy to Lenovo. The company stated it wasn’t ready to be all-in with hardware, so it was going to get completely out.

Several New Products in the Pipeline

So what happened next? Just two years later and Google decided to get back in the hardware race once again. With that decision the company launched its popular Pixel phones and later joined the smart speaker race with its acclaimed Google Home. One can never say for sure, given the company’s track record, but this time it appears Google is in the hardware race to stay. In addition to the Pixel 2 and Google Home, the company has also recently introduced several other new products, including Home speakers, a high-end Chrome laptop and AI-powered headphones and camera, among other things.

Can Google Do it Better Than its Rivals?

So why after all these years of back-and-forth has Google now decided to get back into the hardware game? What’s different this time around? The company isn’t exactly giving specifics but if you listen closely to what executives are saying then you get the picture. It appears Google believes it can make better products than its rivals are currently making. So why is Google feeling so confident? After all, both Samsung and Apple have been dominating the smartphone market for years, and even Amazon has made a successful push with its series of Echo smart speakers. So why does Google thinkit has the edge?

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

It comes down to two areas, mainly. Right now, the tech world is moving into a different era, with artificial intelligence (AI) becoming increasingly prevalent. In addition, machine learning is also helping power some of the best user experiences, which means Google, is sitting in a good place. The company has been leading both AI and machine learning for quite some time. At the same time, other hardware makers, like Apple for example, are currently not capable of matching Google’s expertise in these areas. Thus, now is a perfect time for Google to make a stronger push into the hardware market.

AI Leading the Way

Artificial intelligence is playing the largest role in Google’s plans, as the company is pushing it in almost every possible device it has. From new ear buds (Pixel Buds) that can translate between 40 languages simultaneously to Google Home Max, which comes equipped with the Google Assistant (one of the best digital assistants available) the company is making big gains in the AI industry. Google even built AI into its new Pixelbook and it will be included in its accompanying Pen.

Google In in a Good Position

Of course, there are still challenges ahead for the company if it wants to overtake the Apples and Samsung of the hardware world, but with its strong position in the AI industry, chances are the company will succeed.