This year’s Google I/O conference, which will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif., is a mere two days away. Last year, Google I/O’s highlights included the announcement of Google Glass, the company’s wearable tech shades, a budget-friendly $199 Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and more. So what can we expect to see at this year’s version of the gathering? Here are five possibilities.
- 1. Google Self-Driving Car
Self-driving Google cars are regularly being tested by the company’s engineers in Mountain View, Calif., where the firm’s headquarters are located. This year, Google could announce a roadmap (no pun intended) where it would outline its visions for and the potential availability of such a product. Google is clearly looking to penetrate the high-tech car market, especially now that the success of Tesla’s Model S has proven that this is a sustainable vehicle class. There’s even the possibility of a partnership between Google and Tesla, whose headquarters are less than 10 miles apart, on self-driving car projects.
One thing to keep in mind about this year’s Google I/O conference is that last year the search giant made a huge splash with the announcement of Google Glass. We think that they’ll be looking to take that approach once again. What better way to do that than by parading a self-driving car?
- 2. Google Fiber: More Cities Announced
As it currently stands, Google Fiber, which offers incredibly fast 1 Gbps Internet speeds for a measly $300 plus taxes and fees, is currently available for a few select areas in the U.S., including Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. We suspect that Google could announce the availability of its highly desirable TV and Internet service in additional cities at Google I/O 2013. Unfortunately, New York City probably won’t see Google Fiber’s arrival until Honey Boo Boo reaches drinking age, at the earliest.
- 3. Google Smartwatch
Numerous reports have indicated that Apple is developing a smartwatch, but we think Google could beat the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant to the punch with its own wristmate. According to a report by Android Authority, Google smartwatches have been seen in the company’s Mountain View, Berlin and Manchester offices. If that’s indeed the case, a smartwatch could be a major hit at Google I/O this year.
- 4. Chrome OS Phone Or Tablet
To this point, we’ve seen Chrome OS on notebooks. However, multiple reports have indicated that Chome OS could be headed to a mobile device, likely a tablet. Chrome OS could offer tablet and smartphone newbies a simpler and cleaner navigational experience.
- 5. 1080p Nexus 7
Last year, Google took the wraps off its 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2012, which came with a wallet-friendly price of $199. By doing so, Google drastically undercut pricier options from Apple and positioned itself alongside Amazon’s similarly priced Kindle Fire slates. Since then, Apple released the iPad mini and Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HD. The iPad mini packs a 1024 x 768 display, while the Nexus 7 sports a 1280 x 800 screen. The Kindle Fire HD offers multiple screen resolutions, with the highest being 1920 x 1200. Considering the simple equation of "higher resolution equals more content consumption," we wouldn’t be surprised to see Google announce a refreshed Nexus 7 tablet with display running 1080p HD or higher.
What do you want to see Google announce at Google I/O 2013? What would you like to see Google announce? Do you agree or disagree with any the above possibilities? Sound off in the comments below.
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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