5 things I learned at Google I/O
June 04, 2015 at 3:33 pm
1. Google Cardboard is one of the dopest things I didn’t know I wanted.
Have you tried virtual reality (VR) devices yet? No? This might be the perfect time to consider investing in a device. Google Cardboard is a dead simple tool that allows you to watch VR content on your phone. They also announced this cool project called Expeditions which allow teachers to get Cardboard, phones, and a teacher tablet for their classroom and to take their class on a virtual field trip.
2. I no longer have to get stressed out when I can’t get internet and still need directions!
Google Maps now works online and off. No more trying to switch between LTE and wifi looking for a signal while you’re driving home. In fact, Google just updated it so that if you have a low connection it will adjust load times with a network quality estimator.
3. Self driving cars are real and happening now.
Yes folks, get ready. At the conference Google disclosed that their self driving cars have driven 1 million miles without incident caused by the cars themselves. I have yet to spot one on the street in San Francisco, but I’m sure it’s coming!
4. Google Now > Siri
During the conference Google introduced this new thing called Google Now which lets you access Google from any screen without the need to close the current application. If you get a text from bae reminding you to do something, Google Now will be there to create a reminder for you. If you’re texting about what brunch place to go to this weekend you can quickly access reviews and the location with a simple click.
5. When it comes to diversity google continues to execute and it’s working.
Diversity is a hot topic in the tech industry and it seems like every company is hopping on the bandwagon for fear of a PR backlash. As a blerd I love going to conferences and events to see cool things, meet new people and challenge my perspective of our world today. To keep it real for a second, I often choose NOT to go these events in Silicon Valley because I get nervous about being the only woman or Black person in the room. At the end of a long day running Blavity, I often choose not to expend my emotional energy defying everyone’s stereotypes about what a geeky tech founder should look like while sipping a beer at happy hour!
At Google I/O this was not the case. I was able to mix, mingle and explore without feeling like I was a minority in the space or getting curious glances from strangers wondering why I was there. Honestly, it was refreshing! I left the conference feeling energized with my peers, excited about the future of consumer tech, and hopeful about the state of diversity in tech.
I believe this is a direct result of Google’s consistent and authentic outreach and sponsorship of programs serving minority communities.
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