The overarching theme of the conference is connect-ability. Your smartphone talks to your TV. Your TV talks to your tablet. Your watch syncs with the car. It’s crazy. I love technology but I don’t need or want my email to follow me where ever I go! Still, you have to appreciate the thought that went into these upgrades. For example, if you’re wearing a smartwatch like this one from Samsung, you can see your notifications without fishing your phone out of your pocket. You can also see and decline in coming calls. I love that.
You can set your phone to unlock when the watch is within a few feet and lock when the watch is away. In other words, as long as it’s you holding your phone or tablet, it’s all good. Someone else grabs it, it’s shut down time.
David Singleton, director of engineering for Android showed how he can order a car from the Lyft app with a single verbal command. He also ordered his favorite pizza in under 20 seconds. Now that’s power.
If you go car shopping later this year, you might have the opportunity to add Android capabilities to your car’s dashboard. Plug your phone into the system and the car’s screen becomes a voice-activated communication, entertainment and navigation system. You can even use the buttons on the steering wheel to reply to an in-coming text message. I suppose this is better than the millions of people who insist on texting while driving but I still wonder if all of this technology isn’t a distraction.
Navigation, yes. Warning signals when you get too close to the car in front of you, yes. Parallel parking with my eyes closed, you bet but texting, verbally or not, shouldn’t work while the car is in motion.
My favorite new idea to come out of the Google I/O conference so far is this:
Game developers can build in the ability to run a connected game across multiple devices so friends can play together. In this case, they chained together two tablets and three phones. The first phone initiates the game then the others join the game. When everyone presses start, all five units sync up and you start racing on a track that covers all five screens. Delightful.
If you’ve ever seen a group of people sitting together, but they’re all looking down at their individual mobile devices instead of communicating with each other — this fixes that. Terrific.
What’s the marketing takeaway? What you’re doing today isn’t going to work a year from now. You have to start thinking in a whole new way. Think about connectivity and moving from device to device. More than anything, think about how your company can make a task easier, faster or more fun and you’re on the right track. . . which will run from your phone to my tablet to his TV and back to your car.