News Tech — Google I/O keynote

Every year, Google makes important announcements at its I/O Conference Show, about their vision, future and projects. Here is a short summary of the keynote.

If you want to know more about it, you can check out their video on their Youtube channel.

- Google Assistant / Google Lens

Google is working hard on artificial intelligence and announced several products using their technology.

They presented, an initiative to democratize machine learning.

With the help of the smartphone camera and the technology Google Lens, Google Assistant can now analyze the environment you’re in. It will analyze your surroundings and add relevant content on your smartphone screen. Google showed a demo, where you could point your camera at something and Lens could identify it.

It kinda reminds us of the Samsung “Bixby Vision” technology that was developed on the new Galaxy S8 phone (by the way, a review of the S8 will be out soon on our Medium page).

The Google Assistant will also soon get more conversational, and allow you to have small talks with it, as you’ll be able to type your requests on your phone. It is going to support not only English, but also French, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese pretty soon. Italian, Spanish and Korean should come next.

It will be available on iPhone and more Android devices.

“The Google Assistant should be hands-down the easiest way to get things done” — Huffman

- Standalone VR headsets in partnership with Lenovo and HTC

Google has VR ambitions. They launched Daydream, a virtual reality headset working with a smartphone, a few months ago. But during this keynote, the company has introduced new headsets that won’t require a smartphone or PC to work, developed in partnership with Lenovo and HTC.

This headset will track virtual space with the “WorldSense” technology. The team developped it from their Tango augmented reality system. It will have positional tracking, so it can recognize the position in space and in any environment.

We will have to be patient though since Google just mentioned these headsets will be “coming soon”.

- Visual Positioning System — Tango update

Google also converged different projects from their company Alphabet, Project Tango, Google Maps and Lens for their new Visual Positioning System (VPS). Tango will now use internal sensors and cameras to help you map and navigate into an environment.

After identifying what you are looking for around you, the VPS will use visual data and previous sessions to guide you in the right direction.

One of the main goals of the VPS is to learn and improve their augmented reality technology. For example, you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for in a specific place, like a grocery store. It will map in real time an indoor environment, and will be able to accurately guide you towards a particular aisle you are trying to find in a store.

For education, Google announced that it’s bringing Tango into the classroom with Expeditions AR. This project started 2 years ago and over 2 million students have already tried it with the Google Cardboard. Now with a Tango device, students can experience together and interact with virtual objects. Expeditions AR lessons will be coming to schools this fall through a Pioneer Program.

The Asus Zenphone, coming later this year, will be the first phone to implement the new and improved Project Tango.

- Youtube is going VR

Presenting Youtube comment in VR

Google announced different changes for Youtube.

First, you can now watch 360 videos on TV via Youtube.

“It’s not just about the size of the screen, it’s about giving you an experience that [traditional] TV just can’t match.” — Sarah Ali

Google says the feature will be available in the next few months on Android TV, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and 2017 4K LG and Samsung TVs. You will be able to play 360° videos and use a remote / game controller to move around the environment while watching.

They also announced that instead of adding text comments in Youtube VR, the company will be making shared rooms where users can chat by voice, with an avatar in virtual reality.

The announce actually sounds a lot like Oculus Rooms, where you can watch videos in 360 with friends.