“Google I/O 2019”- the company’s annual developer conference, kicked off with a keynote by Sundar Pichai, CEO- Google, with the theme of being “Helpful”. Right of the bat, the company’s essential product, Google Search saw some great updates. The Next Generation of Google Assistant got a major speed boost with increased performance and exciting new features. One of them is, Now you can just say “Stop” to stop your Alarm. No need to say “Hey Google”, just say “Stop” and return to your dreamland. We will discuss more on that a little later. Let’s get to the big important announcements from Google I/O 2019.
Next Generation of Google Assistant
The Google Assistant has come a long way since its debut in 2016. Google is thriving to make Google Assistant more human-like each year and it’s on the right path. According to Google, this new generation of Google Assistant is almost 10 times faster than the previous iterations.
Along with the speed it also packs in few exciting features. You can now share media, have a conversation, send a full-fledged mail, multitask all without touching your phone and without saying “Hey Google” every time you ask something. Doesn’t that sound like Jarvis? Check the video below to see the new features and how fast the Google Assistant really is.
Google Duplex on the Web
Last year we saw the first look at Google’s Duplex where the assistant made restaurant reservations on behalf of you. This year it is extending its service to the web. Now your Google Assistant can book a rental cab reservation based on your behalf.
It can fill the dates and time of the trip, choose the car you like based on your previous trips. It’s acting on your behalf and helping you save time but you are always in control of the flow.
Google Search and Google Lens
Google search combines the power of computer vision, machine learning and Augmented Reality to bring the search results to life. Google showcased a demo of a great white shark coming to life with the help of AR.
For example, if you search for particular Nike shoes and if there is a 3D model available of that search, you can see it in a 3D view or you can choose to bring the shoes to real world using Augmented Reality.
Google Lens can now do a lot more than just recognizing the types of objects. Google showcased some impressive samples demonstrating the features of Google Lens. But one demo got more applauds compared to the rest. It is when the Google Lens scanned a menu of a restaurant, it highlighted the best selling dishes of that restaurant directly on the menu. And clicking on the highlighted dishes will pull the reviews from Google Maps. Watching it on action was one of the best moments from this keynote. Check the video below to watch it.
Google’s Next Hub Max
Introducing Next Hub Max, A smart assistant with a large 10inch display, Nest cam and full stereo sound with a powerful rear-facing woofer.
It’s an all-around smart home controller, a smart display, a digital photo frame, also acts as an indoor camera and the camera is always focused on you, occasionally zooming and panning to keep you framed at the centre which makes it perfect for video calling. It’s available for the price of $229.
Google Maps AR
Last year Google hyped everyone with a preview of the Google Maps AR mode. To those who don’t know about the Google Maps AR mode, instead of showing navigation on your mobile screen, the AR mode will enable you to view walking directions with arrows appearing in real-world environments to show you which direction to go. This feature is rolling out on all Pixel devices right away. Google didn’t provide any details as to when it will arrive on other devices.
Google Pixel 3A and 3A XL
Google is bringing the camera that made Pixel phones popular to Pixel 3A which is half of the price of the original Pixel 3. Even though it runs on a mid range processor it is heavily optimised by Google software.
For the price of $399, you can get the flagship Pixel camera, Google’s stock Android with 3 years of assured security and software updates, 7 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charge and most importantly, it comes with a headphone jack.
Google Live Caption
Live Caption from Google lets you add captions to any video from the web, podcast or even a video you recorded on your Android smartphone. All this run entirely on your phone and it doesn’t require Wi-Fi or network connection to work. This is going to be a huge help for people with disabilities.
Google Live Relay
This new feature from Google will help out people who are struggling with disabilities or an introvert who doesn’t like to talk to strangers in making calls. You can respond with text and your assistant will talk on behalf of you. Live Relay is specially developed to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have a normal phone call like any other regular people. Watch the video to find out how it works.
Google Project Euphonia
Google’s Project Euphonia helps make speech recognition technology more accessible to people with voice impairments. It’s still in early stages of development but its shows even people with speech disabilities can use speech recognition technology. “To understand and be understood, it’s absolutely unbelievable”.
We are getting closer and closer to the future of having a seamless conversation with man-made machines as we would with a real person. Are we close enough to have a personal Jarvis like assistant? No! But it’s safe to say that we are on the right path. With that said, I’ll see you guys in our next post. Until then, I’m Parzival, and I’m signing off.