Turning our dreams of the future into Virtual Reality, with Artificial Intelligence: The Google i/o 2016

google-i-o-2016

Perfect weather. Perfect location. If anyone has ever dreamt of the perfect rock concert experience, it was on display. But here’s how much times have changed; the performers weren’t actually rockstars. In fact, they weren’t even professional musicians. Just the most elite bunch of nerds on the planet, all gathered in one place.

There are very few companies that can engender the kind of excitement that Google can. But, in all  fairness, there are so few companies with the power to define our future all by themselves.

There were so many features and announcements over the three days that we couldn’t possibly keep up with them all. But we did hand pick a few highlights and put them together for you.

Google are drawing the line at the end of the mobile moment and the start of the VR and AI transcendence.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Google Keynote where Android wasn’t the showstopper. This developer conference was more about looking at the future of devices and the turn they would take in the near future. While this is in no way to say that we will never again see another revolutionary smartphone, the possibilities seem on the down low. On the other hand, VR and AI are the new kids on the block; showing immense promise and going where no man (or machine) has gone before.

The real major product for Google (at the moment) is Google Assistant.

Google is extremely ambitious in it’s efforts to spread the use of Google Assistant across the consumer space. With Allo, Google gets another peak at your personal lives (in addition to going through your mail and queries) and makes personalised suggestions based on your chat. Restaurant suggestions, bookings, calendar appointments, reminders and much, much more can be now be done without ever having to leave the chat app. It’s much the same with Google Home; the Google Assistant is what takes this device to a whole other level when compared to the Amazon Echo.

Google is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else on VR and AI.

Google’s major products have already been rebuilt to accommodate, what they perceive, is the future trend. The Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps, Street View etc. are all VR ready. Add to this the fact that, with Day Dream, Google will be developing the foundations for both mobile-integrated and stand-alone VR and you have a combination much like the accession of Android we have seen over the last few years. It’s much the same story with AI; Google Assistant is the singular juggernaut voice assistant for the masses. It is constantly evolving and learning and, in the process, advancing itself almost embarrassingly ahead of all it’s contemporaries.

Project Ara is alive and well.

It’s finally showing signs of progress; we blogged about the Project Ara on our series about modular smartphones and we’re excited about what we’ve got to see. While it is true that the time for delivery to customers is delayed, Google has promised developer units by this fall. The concept of modular smartphones, not online VR and AI, has lacked leadership from a global player with LG being the only mainstream manufacturer working on an extremely scaled down concept. Google’s entry in to the modular space might just be what the world has been waiting for. I, especially, can’t wait for customisable hardware.

Do you believe that we are nearing the end of the mobile journey? Or do you believe that the smartphone has a few good years left? Let us know.

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