What has Google got planned? What we’ve learned from the latest I/O conference
Google’s latest I/O conference went off with a bang, with the latest wave of human-centred design piquing interest in Silicon Valley.
The annual conference is pitched at educating developers, but has also proved itself a launching pad for many of Google’s key technology products over the years. This year’s conference was centred around our hand-held devices and the suite of new mobile products that Google is launching soon. The company has been experimenting with some clever artificial intelligence lately, and they have a lot of exciting things to show for it.
Here are some ways Google plans to make our future more connected by integrating intelligent tech into our lives.
Google Assistant will help you in your everyday life
First up is Google’s answer to Siri – a mobile-based personal assistant who you can turn to for help with your routine tasks, such as reserving a table at your favourite restaurant, buying movie tickets and navigating your way around town.
Google has spent years studying how humans hold conversation and its software is beginning to catch up, able to understand even the most complex speech. Now we’re able to speak to our devices as if we were speaking to a friend, forgoing any stilted or unnatural speech.
This feature may seem similar to the company’s past offering, “Ok Google”. While this app is also controlled by voice, that’s where the similarities stop. Google Assistant is more than just a search tool; it integrates itself seamlessly into your everyday life and helps you while you’re on the go.
The messaging app that predicts what you want to say
Google Assistant won’t be a stand-alone technology either. The new messaging app, Allo, allows you to access the planner while inside a conversation, so you can organise your social life without even leaving your text thread. If you’re talking to a friend about where to meet for dinner, say, simply ask your e-Assistant and it will recommend some delicious eats.
Interestingly, Allo will be able to learn your speech patterns and suggest replies based on how it thinks you speak. The clever artificial intelligence behind this program means you’ll be able to reply to your friends quickly –with no one being any the wiser that Allo is doing all the work, as it mimics your speech perfectly.
Simplify your home with Echo
In a push to move technology into the home, Google also announced Echo, which allows you to control your home’s tech by using your voice. Simply link your smart lights, entertainment systems and oven to the Google system and you’ll be able to control your whole home from this centralised system.
Once again – with Echo being activated by conversational speech – it is clear that Google wants its technology to be a natural extension of our lives.