Whether you like them or not, the first-generation Pixel Buds were more than Google’s first venture into the wireless headphone arena.
Equipped with a unique instant language translation feature powered by Assistant, the Pixel Buds were a hint at what Google’s AI savvy could do for this product category. New information collected by 9to5Google suggests that Pixel Buds are on the way to becoming a little bit smarter with a new – currently non-functional – Assistant hotword recognition setting appearing on some devices.
Recent reports say that some Pixel Bud users can find a “Say ‘Hey Google'” option in their settings menu. Essentially, users wearing a pair of Pixel Buds can summon Assistant by a voice command rather than the tiring press-and-hold feat, or picking up their phones. However, currently when activated, this feature does not allow users to invoke Assistant as mentioned, and even the setting toggles itself off when exiting the settings app.
Assistant hotword support may be currently broken on the Pixel Buds but its presence is a sign that Google hasn’t ditched its wireless headphones. With the Made by Google event coming up, it’s highly probable that a Google engineer flipped a server-side accidentally a week before it was ready to be rolled out. There is also the chance that Assistant hotword detection may be actually planned for newer hardware, Pixel Buds gen 2.
In any case, Google will probably disclose more about this new feature at its Pixel event on Tuesday.