The Jewish state plays a disproportionate role in hi-tech innovation. We all know this. And Google knows it, too.
The Internet giant is now hoping to leverage Israeli ingenuity to help it play catch-up in a market in which it uncharacteristically fell behind: the growing market for voice-activated smart wireless headphones.
Google this month released its much-awaited Pixel Buds 2 wireless earbuds. The first iteration of the product failed miserably to compete with Apple’s market-leading AirPods.
But initial reviews rate the Pixel Buds 2 as being at least on par with the latest Apple equivalent, if not superior.
A report on Israel’s Ynet news portal on Tuesday revealed how Google was able to so effectively close that gap: its new earbuds contain a groundbreaking new Israeli microchip.
Developed by DSP Group, an Israeli chipmaker headquartered in California, the new chip enables the Pixel Buds 2 to translate speech on the fly, monitor certain vital signs, and to even detect jaw movement related to speech and adjust background noise cancellation accordingly.
Company CEO Oder Elyakim told Ynet:
“There is a whole range of smart signal processing going on by means of machine learning algorithms. These earbuds are very smart, and are constantly ‘listening’ and waiting for voice commands. For us, this is a very big win, both strategically as a company, and in terms of the level of technology that is in this chip.”