What Google Really Wants To Achieve With their Hardware Division
For anyone who is even remotely following Google, it is evident that the company’s focus has largely been on internet technologies. For a long time since it’s inception, Google was internet-focused. Then came the Android revolution which saw Google entering the software markets via smartphones. However, the most bizarre of things was their entry into the hardware markets. While it looked clear that there were already a number of players who were miles ahead, the arrival of the Google hardware division was rather surprising.
Google’s History in Hardware:
The Google hardware division has been around for a while now. Among the first steps that the company took in this direction were over seven years ago when the Nexus One first came out. This was the first Nexus device that Google had co-created along with HTC. Since then the branding kept becoming more and more obvious till Pixel devices came around which were literally Google-branded.
Google has also created several other hardware devices such as the Nexus Player, Google Home smart speakers, Daydream VR viewers, Chromebooks, Chromecasts, Chromeboxes, Wi-Fi routers – as well as Nest smart devices. While they’re not ‘new’ in the hardware business, they’ve just begun portraying themselves as a major force there. The recently released Pixel 2 and the Google Home Mini and Max too, are a step up in the hardware division.
Why is Google So Keen on Hardware:
If you listen closely to Google’s press events and launches, you’ll hear Google saying that the next big innovation will happen at the interjunction of hardware, software and AI. Google has the software part sorted out for quite some time now. The hardware division too, is booming. But the real focus that Google is aiming at is the third one, Artificial Intelligence.
In order to maximize the potential of their AI, Google needs a strong hardware division. With the Google Assistant, Google’s hardware division is all set to boom. Look at all the recent launches from Google – all phones running Android Marshmallow and above now support the Google Assistant. Google has your voice samples, your location, it knows your family members, it knows where you’re travelling, where you work, who you work with and much more.
From Mobile-First to AI-First
AI is the final connecting step. With all this information connected together – technology will not be restricted to phones in the days to follow. It will be all around you. No we do not mean a dystopian future with robots around you. At least not for now. But something that is more relevant – your phone will soon be able to interact with other hardware devices to give you a more customized experience. All of this starts step by step.
The software push was the first step, the hardware push is the second step, AI will be the third step in the same direction. It is getting increasingly interesting to observe where Google is heading with this. However it is fair to say that the hardware push is meant to bring AI to as many users as possible.