We have a confession to make. We are enormous Google fanboys. Ok, maybe just me. I can't think of a company in the past that has excited me more and done more to invest in the future and innovation than Google. Which makes me all the more excited that we have an opportunity to attend Google I/O. For all the non-nerds out there, Google I/O is Google's yearly developer conference held, typically in San Francisco.
But this year is special because Aisleng is attending, the conference will be held at Google's home base of Mountain View. Ok, we lied, it's not because we are going, it's because it's the 15th year of the conference and it originally started in Mountain View. But we also have heard lots of speculation that Google has a lot of fun things that they don't want to take off their campus on the 30 mile trip up to SanFran. Namely, their self driving cars and some impressive VR technologies. It's speculation, but we are hoping to ride in the future of travel!!
Speaking of speculation, we thought we'd speculate a little of our own and let you know along the way how those predictions turn out. So without further ado, here is our list of top 10 awesome items we think will be at I/O 2016.
1.) Self driving cars: Google recently partnered with Fiat-Chrysler to bring the technology to mini-vans and we think we'll get to have a little test drive while we're out there. Most likely it won't be in a mini-van but we're positive they'll have a prototype out in the streets of Mountain View.
2.) Lots and lots of VR: Virtual Reality sounded amazing back in the 90's, and now that technology is catching up with the sci-fi world we expect to see a fully functional holo-deck. Just kidding, but we do think there will be an enormous focus on the technology and possibly some really cool features baked into Chrome that will allow anyone with an internet connection and a phone to experience top level VR immersion.
3.) IoT: The Internet of Things will continue to be a part of Google. We see a world that opens the blinds slowly in the morning, starts the pot of coffee, turns off the ceiling fan and allows you to wake up gently, and it's all automated. Google introduced Brillo last year, the communication language that would allow all your IoT to talk to one another. This hasn't yet come to fruition, but Google isn't done yet, they've been working on these types of things for more than a decade and we don't see them stopping anytime soon.
4.) AI: If the IoT are the limbs of your household, AI is the brain that will run it all. And Google is getting eerily good with AI. We should see another exciting announcement from Google about AI and how it's going to touch their products, most notably Google Now. Last years announcement of Google Now on tap sounded exciting and promising, but to be honest, kind of fell flat. So we are hoping the continue the trend of improvement on Google Now.
5.) Android 7.0: Ok, this is kind of an easy one because Google already had a dev preview even before I/O. But we are hoping they have something awesome up their sleeve, although we have no idea what it might be. Google's flagship OS over the past 2 years has been extremely incremental with the updates as it's a fully matured OS at this point that typically out shines other mobile OS's, so it's hard to fathom what's next for it.
6.) Android Wear: Ok, we may or may not own multiple smart watches running Android Wear. Ok, we definitely own multiple watches. So this is a selfish prediction but we are hoping that the wear game really takes off, because we don't want to see it just petter out. We are hoping for a small update here as well that is inline with Android 7.0. We're hoping for a little more fitness applications and a revamp for the Google Now cards on Android Wear.
7.) Push Notifications: We hear you - "Um, those have been around forever". And yes, we know, but they haven't been around forever on the web. Last year was extremely exciting as the web slowly inches closer and closer to native power on both mobile OS's but especially Android. We expect some awesome new announcement on the web side of things that will push the web another step closer to native functionality.
8.) Android TV: Ok, this is another selfish prediction that has no basis what so ever since there is only 2 sessions on Android TV. This isn't as much as a prediction as a hope, that Google pushes out some awesome new features with Android TV. The only basis for this prediction is the slow, steady, loosening grip of set-top boxes currently have in the industry. If the FCC finally has it's way, this should open third-party manufactures a free-for-all on the set-top game, and what better OS to use than a the one you use in your car, phone, watch, tablet, etc. So we are hoping for some awesome partnerships.
10.) VR: Did we mention VR?!?! Seriously, Google is pushing this pretty hard this year at I/O.
So those are our predictions/hopes. We'll keep you up to date on everything as we go into the awesome world of Google on the 18th of May!