With Google’s annual I/O developer conference kicking off Wednesday, the Internet has been buzzing with rumors and speculation of what new technology Google will be unveiling. While the conference is focused on the company’s developers, it has also been the host to many major announcements in the past. Here are a few of the most exciting innovations expected for this year’s conference:
Wearable Tech: Samsung is expected to introduce a smartwatch that runs Android Wear, Google’s operating system for wearable devices, CNET reports. The watch will present a strong competitor to Apple’s newly announced smartwatch scheduled to launch later this year. Google may also finally announce the official model of Google Glass, as the current model available for sale is only a prototype.
Project Ara: With a release date scheduled for early next year, as the Latin Post reports, I/O may be the perfect opportunity for Google to go into more detail on its revolutionary modular phone. The $50 smartphone consists of a frame and basic modules. The frame contains slots for additional modules that can be purchased separately to add features such as a new processor, keyboard, camera or credit-card reader.
Auto Link: Google may unveil its first in-car operating system, Google Auto Link, according to Automotive News. Going beyond the standard embedded infotainment systems, Auto Link is a projected system that would allow drivers to control Android smartphones through the car’s controls and display screens. Google will not yet reveal which car models will be the first to receive the operating system.
Android Lollipop: Screenshots from an Android phone posted to the I/O event page showed what looks like a new version of the Android OS. The status bar along the top of the phone is slightly different from the current version, and one of the screenshots shows off the Quantum Paper design, which is meant to give Google services like Gmail and Google+ a more consistent look across all platforms (Android, web, and iOS)
Screenshots recently released by Google seem to suggest the next version of the Android operating system, nicknamed Lollipop, Android Origin reports. Current details are sparse, but the screenshots revealed a redesigned status bar and the new Quantum Paper design layout.
Smart Home Tech: Google-owned Nest Labs, which designs Internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, recently opened up to apps from third parties, including partnerships with Mercedes, Whirlpool, Chamberlain and many others, Recode reports. I/O attendees may see new innovations from these partnerships.
Robots: In keeping with the trend of extravagant displays, Computerworld speculates Google CEO Larry Page’s appearance may be accompanied by a large, humanoid robot, in light of Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics, maker of the Atlas robot.