Kid in a Candy Store: My Trip to Google I/O 2017 - Day 2

TELUS Employee
TELUS Employee

Some people think day 1 of the keynote is the meat of the conference. For me, day two brought to the forefront some of the more fascinating projects that Google is working on.

 

Today’s theme centered on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) but the most exciting keynote talked more about Google Assistant.

 

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Actions

 

For me, the most promising development is Google Assistant and Actions. Google Actions allows any connected device within my home or app on my device to be controlled by Assistant using natural language. I can ask Assistant to dim the living room lights or how much data I have remaining in my monthly bucket - the potential is endless. I know a lot of emphasis has been placed on using voice to control Assistant but it’ll also soon support keyboard input as well so there’s support for those of us who cannot or do not want to talk to a piece of plastic controlled by 0’s and 1’s.

 

VR and AR

 

I spent the better part of the day checking out the VR and AR keynote. Google shared their vision for the future of the VR/AR space and their application in the classroom delivering enriching and engaging lessons that enable students to learn in a new way.

 

For the rest of us, a new standalone VR headset is coming later this year with an update to Daydream 2.0 to go along with it. With all this talk about VR and AR, I know what you’re probably wondering: what is the difference between VR and AR and is this the VHS/Betamax war all over again (wait, did I just use an irrelevant analogy to age myself)?

 

Clay Bavor, head of VR, describes it beautifully: “VR takes you anywhere in the world, AR brings anything in the world to you.” Clay doesn’t know it yet, but I’m stealing that one for whenever I need to explain the difference.

 

Looking Ahead to Day 3

 

Knowing tomorrow is the final day of I/O is a sober reminder that all awesome things must come to an end. This doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of tech left. Tomorrow I look forward to taking a deeper look into machine learning and how far Google is pushing the envelope. I expect big ideas from some of the brightest minds.

 

The work day is winding down but those who work hard, play hard. The 2nd annual Google Play Awards highlighting some of the best apps of the year is about to take center stage capped off with an outdoor concert by LCD Soundsystem to close out day 2.

 

Time to partake in the festivities. See you all tomorrow!

 

Follow my Instagram Story as I takeover the @TELUS account on day 2.

 

Keep tabs on my daily blog from Google IO 2017 on The Neighbourhood May 17 - 19.

 

A few more behind-the-scenes and a pile of mirror balls:

 

 

Have questions? Register on the Neighbourhood and ask below.