News Mobile Tech Bureau | Thursday May 18, 2017

All you need to know about Google I/O 2017

 
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The first day of Google’s annual developer conference, I/O, began with its keynote address focusing on the future of Artificial Intelligence and its integration into the Android ecosystem. There was also a focus on Virtual Reality products and diversification of Google’s services to new platforms.

Here are the key announcements from the Google I/O Keynote address:

Google Lens

Google Lens and restaurant reviews
Google Lens and restaurant reviews

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, announced Google Lens, an image recognition tool that will be rolled out in the coming months. Google Lens allows users to point their phone to an object and immediately get search results based on the object. Examples shown off by Pichai included identifying a flower by simply opening the camera as well as showing reviews of restaurants by pointing the phone’s camera at the restaurant.

Daydream Headset

Google's Daydream headset
Google’s Daydream headset

Last year, Google announced its Daydream project, Google’s foray into Virtual Reality. This year, Google has announced that it would launch two standalone Daydream headsets that won’t require a phone to operate. Google will partner with HTC and Lenovo to develop these products. Apart from this, Google announced that Daydream would be compatible with Samsung devices as well.

Google Home and Assistant

Enhancements to Google’s Home assistant were also announced with focus being placed on ‘Proactive Assistance.’ The device will now provide users with relevant information based on their schedule and other contextual situations.

Google Assistant, the company’s assistant program, will also now be available on Apple’s iOS devices. Google Assistant will be a standalone app and is available today.

Virtual Positioning System

Indoor mapping with VPS
Indoor mapping with VPS

Google further expanded its GPS services by announcing its Visual Positioning System (VPS). Using 3D visualization technology, the VPS program will allow users to get more accurate information and directions in indoor areas, an area where GPS has its limitations. The announcement marks Google’s continued development of its Maps service.