Google I/O 2016 Preview: Android VR, Project Tango, Android N, Chrome OS, Self-Driving Cars And More

International Business Times

We'll find out this week what the tech giant is planning and how virtual and augmented reality factor into its goal to remain the world's most valuable company, as well as updates on the world's most popular operating system, Android, and possibly details on a return to China. On Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai will take the stage at the Shoreline Amphitheatre -- a 15-minute walk from his office at Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters -- and deliver an update on the company's current and coming projects. Nominally a conference for developers, Google I/O is really a way of keeping everyone updated on what it is working on, to help give products that are underperforming a promotional push and to remain in the public eye about other projects that may have slipped from the public memory due to being in development so long. Last year, it was all about a big update to Android; the previous year Google pushed Android TV and Android Wear; in 2013 it was the launch of Google Music; and 2012 saw a team of skydivers drop onto the Moscone Center stage in San Francisco during the keynote, shooting their exploits on Google Glass and live streaming it to an awestruck audience. This year, while we will hear about Android, Chrome OS, driverless cars and Project Ara, the big focus will be on the tech world's hot topic: virtual reality.


As Facebook plans for the future, VR looms large

Los Angeles Times

When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.


Everything Facebook Said About Virtual Reality Today

TIME - Tech

Facebook's plans for bringing virtual reality to the mainstream involve a lot of money and a new headset. The social networking giant's Oculus virtual reality unit is developing a new headset that would not rely on an expensive personal computer to power it, like the company's Oculus Rift headset. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who announced the new headset on Thursday at Oculus' developer conference in San Jose, Calif., said development is still ongoing that did not say when the device would be publicly available. "We have a demo," he said, "but we don't have a product yet." There are two categories of VR headsets--those that require a mobile phone to operate, like the Samsung Gear VR headset, and those that need beefy personal computers to power them like the HTC Vive headset.


Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset

#artificialintelligence

Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event in San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).


Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset

#artificialintelligence

Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).