News

Digital POV: Google I/O 2017

Background:

Google’s annual developer conference – Google I/O – was held in Mountain View, CA last week. The event is known for being a spectacle of performances and giveaways and an innovation showcase built around wowing the press and investors. But this year is less flash and more bang.

Details and Implications:

Mobile:

There were plenty of big mobile announcements – the biggest one being the scale of Android’s network, surpassing 2bn monthly active devices. Google is not done yet. In an effort to bring the next 1bn consumers online, Google announced Android Go – a simplified operating system built with developing nations in mind. Android Go is developed using the latest Android beta version – Android O - a safer, faster version that improves battery life. Developers in the crowd were happy too as it was announced that Android now has its own developer language, Kotlin.

Connected Home:

It is clear that Google is placing a big bet on Google Home not only succeeding, but leading the marketplace. Google took big steps towards making the device a central piece to your connected home by adding the ability to make phone calls to anyone in the US or Canada, projecting answers to your queries on a connected screen like your TV and generally making Go more proactive - e.g. announcing a suggested departure time for your meeting.

Visualization:

Google is launching a standalone VR headset via Daydream that does not require a PC or mobile phone for operation. It has partnered with HTC and Lenovo for launch. In addition, Google Lens (soon to be launched) is so good at understanding the visual environment around you that all you need to do is point your camera at an image and the results will quickly populate. It is leveraging Google’s investment in AI.

AI:

“Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.” Google Assistant is available on over 100m devices, available on iPhone and will launch in multiple languages this year. Google has also created a platform to house research, tools and more for AI. Yet potentially most innovative in this space is the TPU (Tensor processing unit) chip, which is focused on cloud computing AI and has the capacity to process over 180 trillion floating operations each second.

Summary:

The Third Wave is here and we are on the verge of something big – both for consumers and marketers.  We are seeing advancements that will help us augment, simplify and enhance our lives. It’s vital to keep pace or you will fall behind, so wax up your board and go surf the waves with Google.