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Google I/O is one of the largest events in the industry, gathering developers and technology fans every year at Google, in Mountain View, California. We asked Artur Wala, Ordē Product Owner at Divante, to share with us his insights from the event, from the perspective of the product owner.

Google I/O – Augmented Reality bringing a new level

 

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In this year’s edition, Augmented Reality definitely overshadowed the other innovations presented by Google. It was not only often discussed during speeches, but was also present at the event itself. Right after the entrance, there was a map with a special marker, which after scanning, enabled easy navigation throughout the event area. It was incredibly helpful; I used it for the whole day.

After that, we jumped to visual information in search. Later this year, we’ll be able to perform a search and see some 3D objects, which is basically AR in the Web. ARCore is not only getting stronger and stronger, but supports iOS too. This solution can be used in so many ways that it can be used almost everywhere. For example, you’re studying medicine and looking for some specific muscle structure? Not a problem. You can see how it looks just by placing a camera in front of it. Looking for new shoes? Type it, see it, match it and fit to your wardrobe. Wanna go deep sea diving, but not brave enough? No problem – the creatures of the depths can “swim” on a stage or anywhere you want. That is the magic of Augmented Reality.

What is more, with Google Lens available in Assistant, Camera or Photos, we may find popular dishes on a menu (auto-highlight of most reviewed), check a recipe in real-time (something like Food Emperor but printed in the cookbook), and so on. What they say is: “right now we’re indexing the physical world with new products just like we did with Google indexing websites”. But the coolest thing about it is… AR in Google Maps is available right now for all Pixels!

 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in everyday life

Before the Google keynote, everybody expected to see some innovative solutions concerning Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as well. One of the most impressive performances was some short footage of a DJ playing with a self-developed AI machine which was able to recognize patterns in sound, learn from libraries, and play music related to the music the DJ was playing (including tempo, genre, mood, etc.)

Another showcase of AI power in the arts was presented during a session called “Music and Machine Learning”. YACHT, a band performing during the afterparty, used the tensorflow library Magenta to create patterns so they could focus just on arranging music. And to be honest, it worked pretty well for them.

Real-time voice streaming

A solution to keep an eye on in the future was real-time speech recognition for auto stream captions which doesn’t require a connection to the cloud. This is definitely a game changer when it comes to increasing accessibility for the disabled. This feature works incredibly fast, hence it can be used while listening to live-streams or even real-time conversations.

PWA

The Progressive Web Apps topic is definitely becoming even more popular among eCommerce industry professionals. Following a Twitter case study during the developer keynote, it was all about PWA benefits positively influencing user experience.

Simple but right on point – the essence of the Keynote by Google’s CEO

It was great to hear that Google has quite an easy mission: to organize information in the best possible way (sounds like Pimcore, doesn’t it? :)

Apart from the obvious-corporate goals of building the most helpful environment for everyone, the ideas presented by Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Knowledge -> Success -> Health → Happiness) presented some real-life wisdom.

And finally, we move to eCommerce…

That’s true. At the end of the day, a customer won’t think “But I can suggest “the old-fashioned frontend is ending my session before I finish my purchase, but it’s OK – I like the tech stack.” They’ll just blame your brand and abandon their cart – which is quite easy to fix with e.g. a headless and platform-agnostic platform like VueStorefront.io. Google I/O proves that PWA technology is a game-changer when it comes to speed and conversion.

Summary

Google I/O is definitely a great place for discovering lots of first-hand information and inspiration. I had the opportunity to find out myself that Eric Schmidt, while writing the book How Google works, truly reflected on the nature of Google’s approach to employees and partners.

I have to admit that the event’s organization was at the highest level. What’s more, taking part in app reviews or codelabs can give every developer the unique opportunity to get feedback from the best in the industry. See you next year Google I/O!

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Artur Wala

eCommerce Business Consultant at Divante eCommerce Software House | LinkedIn | Twitter

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