At Google’s annual developer conference, I/O 2022, the search giant made a host of exciting new announcements for its products and services, including add for 24 new languages on Google Translate using a new machine learning technique. In addition to this, a new Google Wallet was also announced which will allow users to store important documents, metro cards etc, and new search features. Here’s a look at some of the interesting announcements from the conference.
Google Translate: Support for 24 new languages
Google Translate has added 24 new languages to its translation service, taking the number of languages it supports to a total of 133. Among these 24 newly-added languages, eight are in use in India. The list includes Assamese (Northeast India), Bhojpuri (Northern India), Dogri (Northern India), Konkani (Central India), Maithili (Northern India), Meitelon (or Manipuri, Northeast India), Mizo (Northeast India), and Sanskrit .
The addition of these new languages also presents a technical milestone for Google Translate since these are the first languages added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation.
This means Google can directly translate between language pairs unseen in training, and translate from one language into another language without ever seeing an example. Google did say that the technology isn’t yet perfect.
This is a complete list of the new languages now available in Google Translate:
- Assamese: Used by about 25 million people in Northeast India
- Aymara: Used by about two million people in Bolivia, Chile and Peru
- Bambara: Used by about 14 million people in Mali
- Bhojpuri: Used by about 50 million people in northern India, Nepal and Fiji
- Dhivehi: Used by about 300,000 people in the Maldives
- Dogri: Used by about three million people in northern India
- Ewe: Used by about seven million people in Ghana and Togo
- Guarani: Used by about seven million people in Paraguay and Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil
- Ilocano: Used by about 10 million people in northern Philippines
- Konkani: Used by about two million people in Central India
- Krio: Used by about four million people in Sierra Leone
- Kurdish (Sorani): Used by about eight million people, mostly in Iraq
- Lingala: Used by about 45 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola and the Republic of South Sudan
- Luganda: Used by about 20 million people in Uganda and Rwanda
- Maithili: Used by about 34 million people in northern India
- Meiteilon (Manipuri): Used by about two million people in Northeast India
- Mizo: Used by about 830,000 people in Northeast India
- Oromo: Used by about 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya
- Quechua: Used by about 10 million people in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and surrounding countries
- Sanskrit: Used by about 20,000 people in India
- Sepedi: Used by about 14 million people in South Africa
- Tigrinya: Used by about eight million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia
- Tsonga: Used by about seven million people in Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe
- Twi: Used by about 11 million people in Ghana
Google had recently launched multi-search on the Google app, allowing users to search with both images and text at the same time in a bid to try and emulate the experience you have when you might point at something and ask your friends about it. Users will be able to use a picture or a screenshot and add “near me” to see options for local restaurants or retailers that have the apparel, home goods, food etc. in the picture. Multisearch is available as a beta feature in English in the United States but Google hasn’t yet made it clear when it will be rolled out to all users.
Scene exploration with Google Lens
Currently, Google Lens is able to recognise objects captured in a single frame but one can’t yet search for information about an entire scene in front of them. Google says that in the future, a user will be able to use multi-search to pan their camera while using Google Lens to instantly glean insights about multiple objects in a wider scene. The company says that this would be a powerful breakthrough in devices’ abilities to observe and understand the world as we do.
Google Wallet: Store essentials like car keys and vaccination records
Google announced the launch of the new Google Wallet which is aimed at standardizing the way users save and access important items like payment cards, tickets, boarding passes, student IDs etc. The company will launch Google Wallet on Wear OS, starting with support for payment cards.
Google also said that it is partnering with various partners in the United States and other countries to bring digital driver’s licenses and IDs to Google Wallet this year. The company is also adding smooth integrations to other apps. For example, if a transit card (like a metro card) is added to your Wallet, your card and balance will automatically show up on Google Maps.
Talk to Google Assistant on Nest Hub Max by looking at the screen
According to The Verge, The latest updates to Nest Hub Max will let users use Google Assistant without having to say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”. The new feature called “Look and Talk” will allow users to just look at the Nest Hub Max’s display and just speak their search queries without any other audio prompt.
Google Assistant on wearable devices
Google has improved the Google Assistant experience for Wear OS users with faster, more natural voice interactions, allowing users to access useful features like voice-controlled navigation and setting reminders.
Wear Emergency SOS and Earthquake Warnings
Google says it is working with partners to get Emergency SOS to Wear OS so that users can immediately contact a trusted contact or emergency services from their watch. According to the company, Early Earthquake Warnings are already in place in 25 countries and they will be launched to many other high-risk regions around the world.
New multi-device features
During Google I/O 2022, Google also announced new features aimed at creating a more seamless multi-device experience. At CES 2022 this year, the company had previewed various multi-device experiences like expanding the Phone Hub on a Chromebook to allow access to all messaging apps on an Android phone. The wider rollout of this feature would mean that users can stream their phones to their laptops to send and reply to messages, view conversation history and launch messaging apps from their laptops. The company is also making it easier to set up and pair devices with the expansion of Fast Pair support to more devices, including built-in support for Matter on Android.