Google Annual I / O Conference (short for “Innovation in the Open”) was unfortunately postponed in 2020 due to coronavirus problems, but Google returned triumphantly with the iteration of event 2021. Held in small numbers, the event featured Google experts, developers, and other industry panelists taking the stage to draw the veil on numerous advances in technology spiced by Google, with an emphasis on Android 12, Google Assistant changes, and more.
We’ve been here in Digital Trends in front of and in the middle of the symposium (albeit digitally) and we want to reveal all the latest information we’ve gathered. For those interested in what changes there are to the Google Smart Home experience, here’s a summary of the key discussion points.
The future of LaMDA and Google Assistant
A distinctive part of the I / O event was the launch of LaMDA, a language platform that Google was more than excited to be proud of. Introducing the new tool with two dialogue simulations – one with the user and the planet Pluto, the other with a paper plane – LaMDA technology gave both unspoken entities their own minds. The conversation was natural, good pace and interesting. The massive upgrade of the landscape of smart artificial intelligence, Alexa and HomeKit is a lot of competition. Currently, the LaMDA platform is not running on any Google hardware, but the company has big plans to implement the protocol for Google Assistant, Search, Workspace, and other Google-specific tools.
What does this mean for your smart home? Imagine talking to your Nest Audio or Nest Thermostat about what kind of music you listen to in the summer, your favorite weather, what kind of clothes you want to wear in the cold, and more. With LaMDA, the simple ask-and-receive nature of voice commands is still in place, but users can expect much more intuitive (and smoother-sounding) responses from Google Assistant.
Extended Android drivers
Tired of losing your TV remote control? As part of the latest Android mobile innovations, users will soon be able to use the app to manage and control content on Android TV devices. While the details were scarce, we expect this to be a significant leap in how we experience (and Google Assistant) the home theater experience. Google’s LaMDA platform is far from just a break and backwards for a world of interactive conversation between us, our Android-powered TVs, and our mobile phones.
Digital car keys are also on the market. Selected Pixel and Samsung phones can be used as digital keys as part of the Android 12 operating system. Currently, BMW is the only carmaker to be confirmed to use this new feature.
Click on the photo to identify skin conditions
Worried about rashes or bumps? Google is developing a tool that allows you to click on an image of the problem area in your body. Once you’ve answered a few questions about your symptoms, your image and answers will be analyzed, after which Google will give you an estimated diagnosis of what your skin might be, as well as tips for treating it.
While this is not a visit to the doctor (socially remote or in the office), this new health tool can be crucial in helping hundreds of thousands of people identify and treat a variety of outbreaks without having to set foot in a medical building.
Project Starline and the future of video calling
In the breathtaking debut of a 3D video feature called Project Starline, Google showed a two-way conversation with both parties covered from the waist down to the half wall. Each user was greeted with a vivid holographic image of the person they were talking to without the other caller being physically present. The impact was achieved with a huge number of cameras, depth sensors, special lighting and other custom equipment for the event, but Google plans to take these “photo booths” to the business area, including hospitals and media facilities.
Starline’s capabilities are limitless, especially if Google is able to minimize the hardware required for these realistic video calls. An exciting release at a time when face-to-face interaction has been more challenging than ever, Google could completely revolutionize the way we stay in touch and connect with our friends and loved ones.