It’s day one of Google’s I/O conference and developers from around the world who work on top of and around some of Google’s hottest assets (YouTube, Chrome, Maps, TV, Android and so many more. In short….a really concentrated mass of geeks) gathered in San Francisco.
My only ask of the day was for Google to blow my mind…..and after sitting down this evening to catch up on the day’s activities, mission accomplished:
- Android – with mobile being so close to my heart and soul, this was obviously something I was looking forward to. They jumped the competition in voice recognition, added offline capabilities to Google Maps, added in location awareness and mobile logic capabilities (as I’ve been hoping for), enhanced the usability of widgets and home screen layouts, re-invented notifications and probably most importantly…..made more efficient use of those really powerful processors to make Android more responsive with Project Butter.
- Google Play – In what was a somewhat under-hyped portion of today, the Play store saw some significant updates moving even more of the content we all consume into a cloud-based iTunes eating infrastructure. Magazines and TV Shows were added to the list but I would have to say the fact that you can now update/delete apps over the air probably stole the show for me. For those who haven’t seen it yet, pushing an app from the cloud to your phone is cool, managing updates and deleting completes the experience
- Nexus 7 Tablet – in what many are calling the Kindle Killer, Google announced their $200, 7″ tablet. With the power of the Play store behind it, you can definitely see some real potential with this…..will getting the OEM bloatware off the devices make this tablet shine?
- Nexus Q – interesting….not sold on the price point yet ($299). This snazzy device gives you the ability to stream content from your device into your stereo system and the ability to watch videos on your TV. Apple’s step forward in DLNA technology with “AirPlay” was definitely the right direction, this seems to have some promise as well….oh, did I mention that it also connects to the Play store?? Seeing a theme here?
- Google Glass – in what was a surprise today, Sergey Brin popped up on stage to give an impromptu (yet staged), yet awesome demo of Google Glass. We got to see a live hangout being conducted by a few sky divers floating above the Moscone Center in an airship. Before you knew it, they were jumping out of the blimp headed toward the roof top, taking you along for the ride. From their safe landing atop Moscone, they handed a package off to some stunt bikers who JUMPED a gap in the building and met up with some guys who took the package and RAN DOWN THE SIDE of the building. Waiting with open arms were two more stunt bikers who rode through the lobby and on to stage, handing Sergey the package containing a Google Glass prototype (that they announced would be available for developers in 2013 for $1,500 (watch the entire video here)
For obvious reasons, the Google Glass demo stole the show. That kind of showmanship always gets my attention and was a cool way to wake the audience up and show them the product in action. As a mobile geek…..the subtleties of this demonstration are what got me excited. Seeing these things in action in a real scenario with real people in the real world was interesting and I started to see a true connection as alternative modes of communication (Google+ Hangouts/video chat) and this revolutionary hardware come together. Am I fearful that text messaging and circuit switched voice calls are headed the way of the dodo bird? Can the current carrier mentality meet the demands of new age devices like this??
Not yet…..but soon enough. I can remember my first trip to NYC as a kid. There were businessmen in suits running all over the place with these huge bricks sucked up to their ears, SHOUTING to someone on the other end. The next time I went out there (after college) it was the urban hipsters walking with their heads down…not staring at the pavement but at their keypads, vigorously typing away at their keypads sending text messages to others like them. Last time I went (a year ago), EVERYONE was staring into the screen of their iPhone. Taking pictures, Tweeting, checking for places to eat, getting directions and every once in a while….making a phone call. The world is changing and these glasses look crazy, but what I saw today blew my mind. As a carrier, we need to be ready to support the ULTRA bandwidth needs of the future….because it’s coming.
And…..that was day ONE folks. Tomorrow should be full of more fun! Check it out live if you have time to spare.