I reached the venue early at 8:45 and found out that the queue today was moving comparatively faster. We were being handed a brand new Nexus 9 on our way in. I had installed Android M preview the previous night and I was already seeing an improvement in the battery life and responsiveness of my year-old Nexus 5. Excitedly, I activated my tablet while having breakfast in the lower arena.
I had decided to check out all the stalls that day, so I first went to the Android Auto area. Where in the world would you find a Google engineer giving you a car demo? Here I was sitting with Nobu Hayashi in an Audi powered by Android Auto.
The demo was seamless and in the discussion which followed after, I got to know that Google is working with several partner companies to integrate Android Auto with most of the upcoming car launches. I even got to know that Audi TT had a model in the works which sought to replace the traditional dashboard and the music/GPS system with a single Android Auto installation. My mind started imagining all the custom themes one could develop and how we could configure the dashboard as per our convenience.
Next I moved back to Project ARA in the ATAP Section. The Google Engineer gave me an excellent overview of the project. She said that the project intended to create an ecosystem where any company could create ARA devices and modules.
I even got to know about a few interesting modules being worked on, like the credit card processing module. It was before the demo device with a working camera module was unveiled, so I did not get to see the demo device.
On the side, there was a section on Project Vault where they literally had a vault in their demo. Interestingly the project was about secure microSD-sized computers that provide secure ways to communicate without any passwords. A step ahead of Captcha, it sensed any activity on an individual level based on typing habits, etc.
Next I moved to the Project Tango section, where I got to experience the Tango tablet which had sensors to recreate a 3D atmosphere around you in real time. They had a special arena to themselves where I experienced a truly immersive VR-enabled game which was aware of my movements and location, and even had depth awareness. So I had total of six degrees of freedom in the demo. Next I played the 3D tango-enabled shooter game in which, owing to my CS GO experience, I even nailed the top position in their leaderboard.
Next I went to a session about Lovefield, which is an offline data store for browsers. After the session I had a wonderful talk with the core developers of Lovefield regarding their motives, possible integration with Firebase, and the future of the project itself. I even took up a challenge to create a community module for the project.
Androidify had set up a large stall where you could get the stickers made in their app printed. Their sticker designs were really awesome, so I decided to get a bunch of them printed. Unfortunately I was not able to collect all of them.
Next to it there was a wall which had Android devices of almost every size.
Google had also invited companies like Test-Fairy and Core-OS, so you could interact with their founders, network and even discuss your problems related to the platform and get goodies for it.
After my share of interaction with the Google Launchpad companies, I then moved to the Google Developer Experts arena, where I met Victor Sanchez Belmar, who helped me catch up on recent advances in the WebRTC area.
The clock was ticking, and soon it was the time for the “Speechless at I/O” Showdown where a few Google employees had to present on a topic such as a keynote, new product launch, etc., and had to make it look funny. The show was thoroughly enjoyable. Suggestions for an imaginary product from the audience resulted in a name made up by the unix shell names ash-ksh-bsh.
A technically sound comedy for a technically sound audience, needless to say the show was a hit. And everyone left the venue with a happy, laughing mind.
My visit to Google I/O 2015 was full of surprises and one I can never forget. Everything seemed to be part of the rewarding engineering atmosphere that Google has fostered among its employees. It’s a place where one can see a different world being worked on, experience advancements in new fields and meet Google pioneers. Google has occupied an essential part of our lives and continues to grow upon us in almost all areas, and I/O is a place where you to get to experience its developments.
I would like to thank Google and the GDG Global Team for inviting me to the I/O, which made this wonderful experience come true. I hope to get a second chance to experience the most Googly place for non-Googlers.
If you’re interested in reading more about Google I/O, be sure to check out Paul’s take on Google I/O, as well.