Google’s big I/O developer conference is coming to Moscone West in San Francisco starting today, and the keynote is sure to bring some interesting information about new and upcoming products. Here’s what to expect when Google’s executives get up on stage to talk about what’s new.
Earlier this year, Google announced its own plans for creating a wearable platform named Android Wear. It’s designed to make it easy for equipment manufacturers to create smartwatches in a variety of form factors that give users the ability to interact with their smartphone from their wrist without having to pull a device out of their pocket.
At the time of the announcement, information was fairly short about how the Android Wear tech would get applied to hardware devices. 3 months later, we’ve seen some more glimpses of Android Wear’s implementation, but not a whole lot of detail about what developers can do with Google’s tools. tomorrow’s keynote gives the company an opportunity to pitch its potential to all the developers working in its ecosystem.
Google is aiming to move further into the smart TV business with a new operating system. The company already took one swing at creating a smart TV platform with Google TV in 2010, but it wasn’t the big seller Google had hoped, even though the smart TV space has expanded significantly since then.
Android chief Sundar Pichai told Businessweek that Google believes manufacturers will want to integrate the company’s new software because it will give developers a unified platform upon which they can build new applications for the television.
Whether or not that will be appealing to television manufacturers is another matter. Right now, manufacturers can differentiate their models from the competition because they have unique pieces of software.
Building a smart TV platform is a valuable move for Google, though, as more consumers turn to set-top boxes to enhance their television viewing experience. Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Roku and other firms are all competing fiercely for a slice of the set-top TV enhancement pie. If Google can make an end run around its competitiors in that space by building a solution that comes pre-installed on televisions, it could see a greater degree of success than its competition.
Next version of Android
Since this is a developer conference, it makes sense for Google to unveil the next edition of its Android operating system. It’s not clear yet what the next revision has in store for everyone, but early signs point to a refresh of the system’s user interface, along with new technology that will help developers build apps that work well on a variety of screen sizes.
Future of Google Glass
Google’s move into the wearable computer space has drawn significant criticism since the company launched its Glass headgear. Moving forward with a consumer release doesn’t seem like the best idea at the moment, but I/O seems like a good place for Google to update the world on its plans for Glass.
Stay tuned to GeekWire for all the news from Google’s big keynote this morning. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is available for streaming here.