The following is an excerpt from Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg | October 3, 2016 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
SAN FRANCISCO — Software giant Google is beginning an aggressive foray into hardware production with the launch Tuesday of a smartphone and other devices that will bring the company into direct competition with other leading tech firms, including its longtime partner Samsung.
The launch signals a major shift for one of the world’s most profitable companies as it seeks to adapt to a technology landscape increasingly dominated by mobile and other connected hardware. Google must find a way, analysts say, to keep acquiring user data for targeting ads as Web search — traditionally done from laptop or desktop computers — is supplanted by newer technologies.
Google’s new smartphone, the Pixel, will employ artificial-intelligence technology that users can converse with, allowing them to sidestep keyboards as they access online information and make purchases such as movie tickets, say people familiar with the company’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal information ahead of its official release. The company also plans to release other new hardware, including a voice-based assistant for the home to rival Amazon’s Echo and a virtual-reality headset to rival Facebook’s Oculus.
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