What is it?
Google I/O is a three-day tech festival that features experiential learning, Google’s latest developer products, and talks from Google Product Experts. It’s where Google makes their biggest product announcements and showcases their latest technology.
What’s so great about it?
First of all, it’s an Outdoor Tech Festival, run by Google in San Francisco. If you attend, you get to walk through technical modules, work in a dev sandbox and see LCD Soundsystem perform. Not too shabby.
Let’s get technical
This year, they announced a bunch of new technologies across industries. They talked about everything from app updates to AI chips.
I won’t talk about everything, but here are some of the highlights.
Google Lens uses live image recognition machine learning in conjunction with AI to analyze images. This is a combination of ongoing email recognition advancements and the machine learning from Google Photos.
For example, Google Lens can translate offline and real-life scenes into web searches or map information just by holding up your phone. You can walk by a movie theater, hold your phone up, and Google Lens will recognize the movies and times, and will allow you to buy tickets. Google Lens will also recognize shopfronts and overlay business information such as opening times, menus and reviews.
One thing omitted from their discussion is the attribution potential for offline media – particularly out of home, print and transit. For example, what if you held your phone up to an ad and Google Lens could add the advertised product to your Google shopping cart? That would be direct attribution that was never available before.
Google Payment API
Google Payment API means e-commerce stores will soon be able to accept payment from anyone logged in to their Google Account. This is great news for independent retailers who don’t want to be forced to sell on the Amazon platform. It could also enable one-click payment for any logged-in user.
It will also be interesting to see what programmatic targeting this enables. Soon, products advertised with Google will have a wealth of credit card purchase information attributed to your profile. This should make in-market audience profiles more accurate and improve target segments to include first-party purchase behavior data.
Google Home/Assistant Upgrades
The latest updates for Google Assistant allow for direct voice commands for GE and LG home appliances. You’ll also be able to order and pay for goods online by simply talking to your Google Home. This also acts as a Bluetooth speaker, and can connect to streaming services like HBO Now, Hulu, Spotify Free and SoundCloud. Additionally, it acts as a landline with free calls to the United States and Canada.
Cloud TPU AI Chip
This may be the biggest tech advancement announcement. Google released the most powerful cloud-based AI chip to date. The TPU 2.0 is a unique creation designed to both train and execute neural networks. These neural networks are machine learning systems that drive advancements in image and speech recognition to robotics. This latest TPU dramatically reduces the time it takes to train neural networks on vast data sets, and Google is making it available to everyone by end of 2017 to build software on top of. This could spark huge leaps forward in AI apps and machine learning.
If this scares the pants off you, confuses you, or makes you jump on your desk and shout, “The future is now!” – these are all correct responses. Give me a shout and we can discuss