Undoubtedly, the buzz this week radiated from Google’s third annual I/O (or “Innovation in the Open”) Conference. Techies indulged themselves on a two day binge of Google innovations. Here are a few highlights:
The company (finally) unveiled Google TV. They reminded us that, despite industry-wide focus on the Internet and mobile communications, television is still king. Four billion users spend an average of five hours a day watching TV, while advertisers spend $70M annually trying to advertise to them. Several companies — Sony, Intel, Adobe, and others—have collaborated with Google to build this technology which searches and delivers content seamlessly from both your tv and the Web. This “smart tv” seems intuitive, natural; why continue watching television on our laptop screens if we don’t have to? As consumers, I believe making the jump to a “lean-forward”, engaging technology in our living-room won’t be easy (but you’ll have your chance to become an early-adopter Fall 2010). As advertisers though, it’s hard not to be hopeful that Google TV catches on. There’s an opportunity here to make traditional television content interactive.
The new Android OS 2.2, Froyo, was revealed. Reasons why this improvement matters: it’s super fast (Google claims its 5x faster than their previous OS version, making it the fastest mobile browser available), it has “over the air” capabilities (which allows you to download apps without syncing), and it also supports Flash. And Google didn’t forget to remind it’s audience of the impressive growth this product has seen – in fact, they’re now activating 100,000 Androids a day!
Google continues to differentiate itself from Apple. It goes without saying that Google TV is a direct response to Apple’s, not-yet-so-successful, Apple TV. And the implementation of Flash into both of these new platforms positions Google in a much different, more-adapting light then their Adobe-cursing competitors. One of the keynote speakers made the competitive spirit obvious: “If you believe in openness and choice, welcome to Android”.
Google helps Pac-Man turn 30. To celebrate our favorite pellet eating persona’s 30th anniversary, Google transformed it’s logo into an online version of the popular arcade game. Paralyzing productivity nationwide, the game was so popular that Google has decided to offer it forever. Check it out at www.google.com/pacman on your lunch break.