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VR, 4K and smart-home technology: What to expect from Google’s tech event

Google will most likely unveil its latest slate of gadgets on Tuesday, and already there are rumblings of what to expect from the tech giant. 

The company hasn’t said what its event in San Francisco will entail, but fall is when tech companies usually start peddling their new wares, and Google is no exception. Last year, Google unveiled its Nexus 6P and 5X smartphones on Sept. 29. The year before, it announced its Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet on Oct. 15.

New phones are likely on the table again, as well as devices that make use of 4K, virtual reality, and voice recognition technology. 

Pixel phones 

It has been widely reported that Google will drop its new smartphones on Tuesday, and thanks to some eager beavers in Canada and the U.K., we already have a pretty good idea what they’ll look like. 

Bell in Canada and Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. both briefly posted pre-order pages for the new Google Pixel phones before the planned announcement, TechCrunch reports. Those listings have since been removed, but not before tech blogs swooped in and soaked up all the details. 

Pixel

Images of the Google Pixel phones were inadvertently posted online by U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse and Bell Canada, according to multiple media reports. (Carphone Warehouse via TechCrunch )

Pixel will be made by HTC and is expected to replace the Nexus as the company’s flagship phone. It will come in two sizes: A five-inch display for the regular version and 5.5 for the XL, and is expected to sell for $649 US, according to Android Police

“Other specs include a Snapdragon 821 chip, 4GB of RAM, 1080p and 1440 x 2560 displays depending on the size, 32GB or 128GB of internal storage,” TechCrunch reports.

There’s good news for anyone who was grumpy about Apple’s move to wireless earphones — Pixel is expected to have a traditional headphone jack.

4K Chromecast 

Speaking of pixels, Android Police reports the next iteration of Google’s popular streaming device Chromebook will be 4K compatible. 

The Chromecast is a tiny little dongle that plugs into your TV and lets you stream media directly from your phone, tablet or computer, offering a cheap and compact alternative to video game consoles or dedicated streamers like Roku and Apple TV.

GOOGLE-NEXUS

The Google Chromecast is pictured on an electronic screen as it is announced during a Google event at Dogpatch Studio in San Francisco, Calif., on July 24, 2013. The next iteration of the device is expected to be 4K compatible. (Beck Diefenbach/Reuters)

Until now, Chromecast has been limited to 1080p, but insiders say the new version to be unveiled Tuesday will stream in 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, better known as 4K.

It’s rumoured to be called the Chromecast Ultra and, according to Android police, will retail at a starting point of $69 US.

Google Home

Google Home is the company’s answer to Amazon’s popular Echo — a voice-activated personal assistant for the home, accessed through a Wi-Fi connected speaker. 

The idea is to turn your abode into a smart-home of sorts with an internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to do things like play music or control lights and thermostats.

Home

Google Home, a voice-activated personal assistant, may hit the market on Tuesday. (Google)

Google first announced Home at a developer conference in May, but did not set a release date, so it’s possible we’ll get our first look at it Tuesday. 

Android Police estimates a price point of  $129 US, which falls below Echo’s $179.

Both Home and Echo have prompted privacy concerns about having tech in your home that’s always listening and gathering data.

Daydream VR

At the same conference it unveiled Home, Google also announced it was working on a virtual reality platform called Daydream.

The device, a VR headset with a small remote, is scheduled for release in fall of 2016, so it’s possible it will launch at Tuesday’s events.

VR

Google has promised its VR headset Daydream will hit shelves this fall. (Google)

Google has already announced a number of games and apps for Daydream and, according to Bloomberg, has been busy recruiting creators to make exclusive content for the platform. 

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/google-pixel-home-chromecast-daydream-1.3788921?cmp=rss