Google kicked off its annual developer conference yesterday, and has already made some big announcements about major new offerings. In addition to developments concerning Android N, its Firebase developer platform, and its new Allo messaging and Duo video call apps, the Google I/O conference brought news of major new efforts in AI, the smart home, and wearables.
One of the biggest new products is the Google assistant, an AI app based on voice interaction. The company has notably departed from the anthropomorphism—not to mention feminization—of other AI assistants like Siri and Cortana, instead focusing on the ubiquity of its assistant, which will be available across Google devices and systems, and the quality of its speech recognition technology, which it claims to be “the most accurate in the world” in a new blog post.
Connected to that offering is Google Home, a small, vase-like device that is designed to integrate the Google assistant into home automation, letting users perform actions like setting an oven or turning on a room’s lights via voice command. In this area, Google is very clearly taking aim at Amazon and its Alexa AI assistant, though other major companies like Apple have been exploring the smart home market as well.
The company has also announced a mobile VR platform called Daydream which will be compatible with upcoming Android devices, and an Android Wear update for which it promises tetherless apps and “a revamped user experience”. That latter offering could heat up the competition against the likes of Apple and its Apple Watch, and, like the rest of Google’s big announcements, it will hopefully help to foster innovation in the tech industry more generally.
Source: Google Official Blog