Google’s I/O Conference Shows Off New Gadgets, New Android Experiences, and…Skydiving?

Google’s I/O conference, held last week in California, saw a bunch of new Android gadgets unveiled for the future. They were excited to show off all kinds of new devices, a brand-new Android OS, and more info about the elusive Google Glass project. Here’s a rundown of what you might have missed, and how it all ties in to the future of business.

Google’s biggest announcement was Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, their newest iteration of the Android operating system. The brand new update brings all sorts of new features to the table, including a lock screen that unlocks your phone by recognizing your face, smart keyboards that do more than just predict what you’re typing, and display tweaks for tablets and some of the fastest new tweaks and improvements to the operating system to date.

Nexus 7: Google’s Answer to the Kindle Fire

The special catering to Android tablets wasn’t without reason: Google teamed up with electronics vendor ASUS to produce the Nexus 7, a brand-new Android tablet running this brand new version of the Android OS. It features an incredible hardware set, including nVIDIA Tegra 3 graphics hardware for HD video and impressive enhancements, a 7-inch HD display, and an amazing, heavy-duty 12-core processor.

Other perks include NFC technology, which is already being used in other countries as the standard for cardless payments, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a high-quality front-facing camera for video chats. The whole package seems like it would compete with Apple’s iPad, but instead, Google’s going after Amazon’s Kindle Fire with an aggressive price of $199 for the Nexus 7 8GB model. This tablet has more than enough power to run laps around the Kindle Fire, but will Google’s name brand be enough to drive consumers to the new device? We’ll find out when the powerful little tablet hits shelves mid-July.

Nexus Q: Instant Streaming From Phones For Impromptu Life Sharing

In Google’s ideal world, the whole family has Android phones. Everyone goes out on their day to day travels and uses their devices to capture images and videos of their day. Up until now, sharing photos and videos from your phone has been a cumbersome process: huddle everyone around a tiny screen or fool with your computer for 15 minutes trying to find the files you want to show everyone. Google wants to simplify the sharing process with their newly-announced Nexus Q.

The Nexus Q is a cute little black ball that connects to your home entertainment system, and allows you to stream content wirelessly to the device. The whole family can access their phones from the Nexus Q, then instantly display any photos or videos they’d like to share with everyone else. This odd little ball has a lot of competition from many different products available now, but Google’s proud to announce that the Q is developed and manufactured entirely in the United States. There’s no telling where this All-American sharing buddy could go, but it’s an interesting product that Google’s very proud of.

Now We Know A Little More About Google Glass Too

Google co-founder and tech wizard Sergey Brin showed up on-stage during the first day of I/O to show off Google Glass officially, after wearing it out in public a few times as a teaser leading up to the event. Glass is a small headset that looks like a pair of glasses, with a slender bar on the left side of the frame that houses a camera and a tiny transparent screen. Glass syncs with devices and gives the user a “heads-up display” in the visor window.

Brin decided to give the audience a “small demo” of Google Glass by surprising them with a live Google+ Hangout. A team of skydivers, all equipped with Google Glass, jumped from a blimp on to the roof of the a convention center, where another team of BMX bikers stunted across the roof, then tagged out to a team that rappelled down the face of the building. Everyone’s perspective was captured and streamed live via their Google Glass units, and the entire group all ended up on center stage with their devices by the end of the show. You can see the entire event here courtesy of Mashable.

With that, Brin announced that only a handful of developers will be getting their hands on Glass soon, and that the device won’t be ready for consumers until 2014. The possibilities for augmented reality enhancements are endless, but since its official release is so far away, no one is entirely sure what the little headset’s capable of.

What About The Rest Of Us? How Google’s I/O Conference Impacts Business

Google had a few other announcements at I/O, including enhanced search features on their flagship Google search that incorporate Google’s Knowledge Graph technology, and an early competitor to Apple’s Siri called Google Now. Between all of Google’s new devices, there are a wide variety of new opportunities opening up for businesses.

Google seems to be pushing NFC technology for wireless payments, which could fundamentally shift business tactics and operations across many different industries. Google Glass could encourage businesses to change their marketing strategies to include augmented reality content or displays to their customers—it could even foster an entirely new demand for an augmented reality industry. Even the Nexus Q is going to change people’s expectations for what their devices should do, and businesses can capitalize on those desires by being in the right place at the right time.

Google may push the envelope and advance technology to new heights, but that doesn’t mean small businesses should be left in the dust. Google has always been about their end users—their customers—and these new gadgets provide new, exciting ways to engage consumers with unique content and creative conversion strategies.

Of course, if you can’t wait until 2014 to start engaging your customers with new creative solutions for your content marketing, we can help you out. Maybe one day your business can be the first Content Equals Money augmented reality content prototype! Until then, we can help you attract new business with content that’s proven to work with Google to your benefit, right now and on into the future.

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Andrew Glasscock is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated with a BA in English, specialized in Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing this past May. Along with copywriting, he loves being an improv comedian, playing frisbee, and dogs.

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