Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced (on Twitter) a date and venue for Google I/O 2016 - the event will be held from May 18-20th in Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, in the 'neighborhood where it all started 10 years ago'.
Tickets for the event are expected to go on sale soon and although the sessions are very much developer focused, I/O also serves as a platform for Google to make significant announcements and offer updates on ongoing projects. So what are we likely to hear about this year?
Here are my predictions.
- Marshmallow might still feel brand new, but it's likely we'll hear some mention of the next release of Android (Nougat anyone?). Perhaps we will finally see some sort of integration between ChromeOS and Android (although I think that's more likely to come next year) or maybe Google will finally give the Android tablet experience a kick in the pants. Either way, the new OS will likely kick off with a developer preview for the 5X and 6P devices.
- Google has recently promoted the head of the Google Cardboard effort to head up a new VR branch of the company. While Cardboard is cool, it's still pretty rudimentary. With Rift and Vive around the corner, I wouldn't be surprised to see Google do something a little more serious in this area.
- Google's 3D scanning tech now has a consumer home in a forthcoming Lenovo device. I'm not sure if Google will make a big thing of this yet, but it certainly has some very interesting potential. Maybe even tied in with VR.
Self driving cars
- Self driving cars are coming. I don't think they'll arrive as quickly as some (Elon Musk) are predicting, but they seem an inevitability. Google are certainly one of the groups at the forefront of this brave new world and I think it's likely we'll hear more about their plan to come to market, perhaps with one or more car manufacturers worldwide.
- Google's Brillo and Weave platforms are slowly starting to come to fruition and Smart homes / IoT are two areas that are really getting traction this year. Google has a good opportunity to be a significant player in this space if they can sort themselves out. Maybe we'll finally see the Nest acquisition being put to good use.
More minor platform updates
- We may see more minor product update announcements around other platforms, such as Android Auto, Android Wear and - hopefully - Google Glass! Glass is likely to stay business rather than consumer focused, but it's about time they made their version official!
What do you think we are most likely to see at I/O? Share your thoughts!
Edited by PaulOBrien