Once a year, Google holds a conference, called I/O, where it unveils all the cool, awesome, amazing new stuff that the company is launching and/or working on. It was three years ago at this very conference where Google unveiled Google Glass. Today was the first day of Google’s 2015 version of its I/O conference. The announcements from Google are very exciting, to say the least. Here’s some of the highlights of what consumers can expect to see, feel, and experience real soon:

Improved Google Cardboard:

Last year, Google came out with this cheap (ridiculously cheap), convenient way to view virtual reality. Cardboard was nothing more than a cardboard (literally made from cardboard) frame with some lenses and buttons. Pair it with your smartphone and you’re able to view virtual reality. The appeal was its simplicity and extreme low-cost, yet it still was able to provide the user with a basic VR experience. This year, Google has improved the design of the Cardboard to be able to fit more smartphones and is developing an app to use on iPhones.

Android Pay to Rival Apple Pay:

Google is taking square aim at Apple and looking to move in on its pay service with the reveal of Android Pay. Yes, just like it sounds, Android Pay is essentially Apple Pay, except that it’s made and run by Google (so of course, you know we’re going to expect it to be bigger and better in terms of design and functionality). Most of the stores that work with Apple Pay will also work with Android Pay. Which makes sense considering that retailers and other sellers want to make payment options as convenient and easy as possible. Plus, with Android dominating 81% of world smartphone market it makes sense that vendors will want to adopt Android as readily, if not more so, than they did with Apple Pay. Google Wallet is still around to send money to others (although there wasn’t any mention of it at all at I/O this year), but Android Pay is the brand Google is pushing now.

Android M’s Now on Tap:

Google also announced its next version of Android, codenamed “Android M.” In the latest installment of its operating system, Google is hinting at something called, “Now on Tap.” Essentially, the system will be “smart” enough to detect and understand what you are viewing and looking at, like an email or a song that’s playing. For instance, if a song is playing and you ask the system, what’s his real name, the system is smart enough to recognize that “his” is in reference to the singer of that song. It’s remarkable and futuristic for sure.

 

Related Reading:

CNet: Google’s New Goal Is To Make Everything Work Together

CNet: What We Didn’t Get from Google I/O 2015

CNet: Google’s Android Pay to Duke It Out with Apple Pay

Engadget: Google’s Now on Tap makes Android M smartphones so much smarter

 

Other Tech News:

Android Community: Impression PI is the fashionable VR headset

SlashGear: Impression Pi VR headset update shows off fully 3D augmented reality

Tom’s Hardware: Too Good To Be True? Impression Pi Joins The VR Game With Wireless HMD

 

From Our Blog:

The Failure of Google Glass

Vox Media Acquires Re/code

Why Consumer Virtual Reality Will Succeed This Time

TV Tech Advances At Blistering Rate

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