Google uses the voice of Stephen Hawking to encourage stargazing on your phone

Spot promotes its Night Sight astrophotography on Pixel 4

Published On
Oct 22, 2019

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Stephen Hawking may have passed away last year, but his legacy lives on in the advertising world.

Google is the latest brand to use the inspirational language and distinctive synthesized tones of the famous physicist, in an ad promoting its Night Sight feature on its Pixel 4 phone. Hawking's well-known speech in which he urges us to “Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet" is the backdrop to images of both children and adults stargazing in various ways, including now photographing the night sky with their phones.

Night Sight, the latest version of which is available on Pixel 4, uses computational photography to take multiple exposures and combine them into a single image. It uses machine learning to segment the sky, in order to create more spectacular views of the stars. 

The spot was created in-house at Google and directed by Geoff McGann via Hecho Studios.  “Stephen Hawking dedicated his life to better understand the complexities of our universe and, at the same time, make it accessible for everyone," said Google’s Global Executive Creative Director for Devices and Services Xanthe Wells in a statement. "You can say his work has brought us closer to the stars and has inspired countless people to look at the night skies differently. That’s why his narration was a natural choice for the spot.”

During his lifetime, Hawking appeared in several ad campaigns, including for Jaguar, Intel, BT and Save the Children, while his voice was used in others.