Last night, Google kickstarted its annual developers off at Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, California. Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, started off with the Google Keynote with announcements of AR implementation in search, camera. The company also announced new Android Q beta, a couple of new hardware devices, and much more. In case you missed the keynote or just want a quick recap of the Keynote related to Google Search, Assistant, and Lens, here it is:
AR in Google Search
One of the first announcement of the keynote was about AR in Google Search. Google is bringing AR features in Search which will be rolling out later this month. With this feature one can view and interact with 3D objects right from Search, drag and place them directly to your own space, giving you a sense of scale and detail. For example, it’s one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long. It’s another to see it up close in relation to the things around you. So when you search for select animals, you’ll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR. Google is working with partners like NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair and more to surface their own content in Search.
Google lens has been used over a billion times since the launch and it is now picking up some really useful features which will provide more visual answers to visual questions. At first, when you are in at a restaurant, figuring out what to order. Google Lens can automatically highlight which dishes are popular–right on the physical menu. When you tap on a dish, you can see what it actually looks like and what people are saying about it, thanks to photos and reviews from Google Maps. Also, Lens can calculate the tip when the bill arrives.
Further, the Google lens can translate or one can listen to what the board says when pointed, it can also help in translating in real-time. One can point the camera at text and Lens will automatically detect the language and overlay the translation right on top of the original words, in more than 100 languages. Google also brings Lens feature to Google Go, the lite Search app for first-time smartphone users. Lens in Google Go is just over 100KB and works on phones that cost less than $50.
Timeline for Google Search
Google gets over billions of questions every day and Google is all set to bring the popular Full Coverage feature from Google News to Search. Using machine learning, Google will identify different points of a story—from a timeline of events to the key people involved—and surface breadth of content including articles, tweets, and even podcasts.
The next generation Assistant
The new gen Google Assistant is bringing 100GB of models in the cloud down to less than half a gigabyte. With these new models, the AI that powers the Assistant can now run locally on your phone. It can process speech on-device at nearly zero latency, with transcription that happens in real-time, even when you have no network connection. The Google Assistant will deliver the answers up to 10 times faster. You can multitask across apps—so creating a calendar invite, finding and sharing a photo with your friends, or dictating an email is faster than ever before. And with Continued Conversation, you can make several requests in a row without having to say “Hey Google” each time. Commands you say will be shown at the right side of the bottom nav bar and this feature is coming to all the new Pixel devices later this year.
Duplex to the web
Last year, at Google IO, the company introduces Duplex, where Google Assistant will be able to talk to a real person and take an appointment for you and talk naturally. Google extended Duplex to the web, previewing how the Assistant can also help you complete a task online. Often when you book things online, you have to navigate a number of pages, pinching and zooming to fill out all the forms. With the Assistant powered by Duplex on the web, you can complete these tasks much faster since it fills out complex forms for you.
You just need to ask the Assistant, “Book a car with national for my next trip,” and it will figure out the rest. The Assistant will navigate the site and input your information, like trip details saved in your Gmail or payment information saved in Chrome. Duplex on the web will be available later this year in English in the U.S. and U.K. on Android phones with the Assistant for rental car bookings and movie tickets.
In the coming months, Assistant will be able to better understand references to all of these through Personal References. For example, after you’ve told the Assistant which contact is “mom,” you’ll be able to ask for things more naturally like, “What’s the weather like at mom’s house this weekend?” or, “Remind me to order flowers a week before my sister’s birthday.” You always have control over your personal information and can add, edit or remove details from the “You” tab in Assistant settings at any time. Later this year, on Smart Displays, a new feature called “Picks for you” will provide personalized suggestions starting with recipes, events, and podcasts.
While driving the car, the Assistant offers a hands-free way to get things done while you’re on the road. Google announced the preview version of the Assistant’s new driving mode. The company has designed a voice-forward dashboard that brings most relevant activities—like navigation, messaging, calling and media—front and center. It includes dinner reservation on your calendar, directions to the restaurant Or if you started a podcast at home, you can resume right where you left off from your car. If a call comes in, the Assistant will tell you who’s calling and ask if you want to answer so you can pick up or decline with just your voice. Assistant’s driving mode will launch automatically when your phone is connected to your car’s Bluetooth or just say, “Hey Google, let’s drive” and get started. Driving mode will be available in June on Android phones with the Google Assistant.
Google is also making it easier for users to use the Assistant and control car remotely, one can adjust the car’s temperature before leaving the house, check fuel level or make sure doors are locked. Now the Assistant can do these things with just one or two commands—for example, “Hey Google, turn on the car A/C to 70 degrees.” This new experience will be available in the coming months to existing car models that work with Hyundai’s “Blue Link” and Mercedes-Benz’s “Mercedes me connect.”
Say “stop” to turn off your timer or alarm
Instead of saying “Hey Google” every time to stop your alarm, you can turn off a timer or alarm by saying, “stop.” This feature runs completely on-device and is activated by the word “stop” when an alarm or timer is going off.
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