Google I/O 2016 is to be held this Wednesday, and if you haven’t done so already you can bookmark our page to watch it all live. While many of us have a good idea of what Google will be announcing throughout the rest of the week, there’s always room for surprises and we’ve already been given one by an unlikely source; Xiaomi. Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi’s International operations has recently Tweeted that he is “thrilled to share that Xiaomi will be a part of Google I/O” along with the above image which serves as a sort of teaser for what Xiaomi might have planned for the event later this week.
The teaser image itself says more than you might at first think. It obviously spells out the letters of ‘I’ and ‘O’ which is far from subtle, but it also shows what look like a few buttons you’d commonly find on a TV remote; the volume up and down buttons and what could be a select button. Xiaomi is of course known for their MIUI spin on Android as well as their Mi devices that offer great hardware at low costs, but they’re known for other devices as well; including TV sets. Xiaomi, in China, offers up their own TV sets as well as their own Android boxes running custom Xiaomi software, but if they’re coming to Google I/O this year, they could be partnering with Google on some sort of Android TV hardware. After all, this might be the simplest thing that the two could partner on, and it would be the one product that would open Xiaomi up to as little litigation as possible, should they sell the devices in the United States. With talk of the Google Play Store heading to China – as we touched on in our mammoth Google I/O preview – this could be another sign that Google is coming close to being able to achieve such a thing.
For Hugo Barra, returning to I/O in his role of Xiaomi Vice President will be interesting, as he used to be the Vice President for the Android division, instrumental in the launch of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and devices like the Nexus 7 2012. No matter what Xiaomi have to offer this week at I/O 16 it will certainly make the week that little bit more interesting.