In lieu of its annual I/O conference, Google is hosting a 'Smart Home Virtual Summit' to connect with its users. I/O was cancelled back in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 9to5 reports that the summit will be aimed at helping the Assistant developer community.
The summit will begin with a keynote similar to the traditional first day of I/O. This will be shorter on this occasion and will then transition into a panel discussion afterwards. The virtual summit will take place on July 8 via live stream.
Tailored schedules will vary based on geographic regions. Different setups are expected for the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.
Google Announces 'Smart Home Virtual Summit'
Google said in a statement that "COVID-19 has made it difficult for us to meet you at I/O, Global Developer Summits, and EMEA Smart Home Summit." However, the company wanted "the opportunity to connect, and we decided to take things virtual!"
As a result, this virtual summit was born. Michele Turner, the Product Management director of the Smart Home Ecosystem will lead the keynote. She will also share "recent smart home product initiatives". She will also discuss "how developers can benefit from these capabilities."
Topics covered in the keynote may also include "new tools that make it easier for you to develop with Google Assistant." The partner panel will then consist of industry leaders. They will discuss how the sector intends to navigate through Covid-19. This discussion will also see thoughts shared on the state of the industry going forwards.
Upcoming Features Teased?
Traditionally I/O has teased new smartphone and developer features. It is unclear whether this will happen at this years event. Perhaps we will see some new features but whether this is going to be on the same scale as normal remains to be seen.
At CES in January, Google previewed Smart Display capabilities like sticky notes. It also showed us the capability of Household Contacts.
Google has also released a number of new features to Google Photos in recent weeks.
A total overhaul of the system did not please users. However, the ability to not have social media pictures automatically backed up and a mute toggle button for videos has impressed.
Hopefully the event will go off without a hitch and serve as an adequate replacement for I/O. It is going to be a tall order to live up to but if Google can pull it off then it will be a welcome event over the summer.
Given we have been starved of these events anything the company can offer will probably be well received.