SAN FRANCISCO -- Although it rolled out no major new products or initiatives at its annual Google I/O developer conference here, the company that started out as a search engine showed ambitions as big as the Worldwide Web. Google announced, released or hinted at significant upgrades in the works for what amounts to seven major platforms it nurtures--Android, Chrome, Glass, Google+, Google TV, Maps...oh, and Search.
A tour of its demos showed a few interesting side projects as well. They included its latest concept for a notebook PC, an automotive infotainment system and a portable mapping system. The overarching message from the event is this company will continue to pursue many overlapping and increasingly interconnected efforts in its quest to grab eyeballs.
The darling of this year's event was Project Glass, Google's effort to get ahead of the next big thing in the booming mobile industry. The crowd was peppered with "Explorer Program" pioneers sporting the futuristic eyewear like the latest in nerd fashion. Even the robotic blimp Google engineers crafted for the event (below) had embedded Glass cameras taking aerial pictures of the event.
Our virtual tour of the demo area on the following pages provides a few highlights of what's new in all seven new platforms including a look inside the latest Chromebook Pixel notebook.
Google engineers crafted their own blimp engine with an embedded Project Glass device.