Google I/O: What to Expect at the Search Giant's Biggest Annual Event

PHOTO: Sundar Pichai is seen here March 2, 2015 during a conference during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.PlayManu Fernandez/AP Photo
WATCH What to Expect at Google I/O Conference 2016

At this year’s Google I/O developer's conference, the trends of the moment like artificial intelligence, chat bots and virtual reality could be poised to take center stage.

Interested in ?

Add as an interest to stay up to date on the latest news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

The two-day annual event, which begins Wednesday for this year, is Google's biggest showcase and an opportunity for the company to interface with developers as they work together to shape new technology -- and how it can be used by the public.

While Google isn't revealing its playbook yet, recent announcements from its competitors have set expectations.

"Facebook came out and launched a couple rudimentary bots, Microsoft released an entire developer's kit," Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told ABC News. "We are really at another crossroads here, which is: Does Google come up with something different or do they join the bot party?"

Google Cardboard, the do-it-yourself, low-cost virtual reality viewer, has helped bring VR experiences to the masses. However, Moorhead said he's looking to see, "what Google is doing to move the VR ball down the court."

"One of the challenges is, for instance, just because content works on Cardboard it doesn't mean it will work on my Samsung VR goggles," he said. "Everything is fractured right now. It keeps people from buying because they're jittery about what that means. So, I think that needs to be figured out. It's not that they made some big mistake, this is just how early technology starts."

Artificial intelligence is also becoming more common in everyday life -- and Moorhead said he expects to hear some AI news from Google. "Machine Learning Office Hours" are on the I/O schedule one hour after Wednesday's keynote concludes, hinting towards the possibility that Google may make an announcement in this area.

At Microsoft's Build developer's conference earlier this year, the software company released a set of 21 Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to developers in the areas of vision, speech, language, knowledge, and search. The various APIs can do things such as guess a person's age from a photo or predict a dog's breed using just an image.

"I am expecting ease of programming and use, so anybody who has an app and wants to use Google services to create their own app to create smart things can," Moorhead said.

There are also some rituals. Google likes to release its latest version of Android to developers around the time of the event, giving them plenty of time to develop new experiences for the updated platform before its usual roll-out to the public in the fall.

An early preview of Android N shows the new build will include split-screen multi-tasking and faster switching between apps.

Comments