Google's newly-announced Pixel Buds headphones are live-translating - allowing face-to-face- communication between people who don't speak the same language.
Besides supporting 40 languages (as if that wasn't enough), the earbuds' most notable aspect is that translation works both ways. Users of the headphones will not only hear the translation directly in their ears, but the headphones will also emit sound through front speakers, allowing the other person to hear the user's response in his/her own language. Both the user and the non-user will be able to have a complete conversation in each of their native languages.
During Google's live presentation, a Swedish-speaking user had the Pixel Buds and accompanying Pixel phone. The user was addressed by someone speaking English. Check it out below:
When paired with Google's handset, the Google Pixel 2, the Pixel Buds can tap into Google Assistant, Google's artificially-intelligent voice-activated engine. Google Assistant can also alert users to notifications, send texts, give directions, and more.
The earbuds could help overcome a significant language barrier prevalent in many American industries, including manufacturing.
Making up 13 percent of the population and 17 percent of the workforce, immigrants are 1.2 times as likely as U.S.-born workers to be employed in the manufacturing sector, according to a study from Pew Charitable Trusts.
Certain states have much higher ratios. In Nebraska, immigrants are 3.5 times more likely to work in manufacturing over their U.S.-born counterparts. Immigrants in Oregon, South Dakota, Iowa, and Arkansas are also more likely to end up in manufacturing, with respective ratios of 1.7, 2.6, 2, and 2.2 times as likely.
And immigrants aren't the whole story. There are tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking people working in manufacturing all over the country.
So if you're a shop owner or work in a shop in which language is often a barrier, maybe these headphones are for you.
The Pixel Buds will be available in November for $159.