ATAP envy: The two major takeaways from Google I/O
Jun03

ATAP envy: The two major takeaways from Google I/O

This year’s Google I/O, the search giant’s annual developers conference, proved to be a decent let down from an Android Wear perspective. At the much anticipated keynote, Google focused on the latest release of Wear (5.1.0), which brought features like wifi, gestures, and an improved launcher. But missing from the keynote was any insightful information as to the current amount of Android Wear users and activated devices — and there’s a good chance that the omission was owing to the fact that the sales of Android Wear would pale in comparison to that of the Apple Watch. However, even though this year’s keynote didn’t really give developers anything to sink our teeth into, it didn’t mean that I/O attendees left without anything to think about. Most exciting moments came from Google ATAP On the last day of the event, the morning session was given by the Google Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) team. Since ATAP’s inception, the motto has been “Do epic shit!” As corny as it sounds, they always seem to find a way to stay true to it. Akin to Steve Jobs and his rag tag group of “pirates” from the first Mac team, Google ATAP is the R&D team that any company would be super excited to have. During the first few minutes of the session, Regina Dugan walked us through the newest projects that her team has been working on since the last we have heard from them. In the wearable realm, these projects included Project Jacquard and Project Soli, which both aim at tackling input for wearables in two very different ways. Project Jacquard is literally “technology woven in,” as stated on the project’s official website. In short, the team has found a way of weaving touch and gestural technology into garments and, possibly, furniture. Project Jacquard treats wearables less as an accessory and more as an integrated system with the clothes we already wear day-to-day. There was no direct announcement of any garments that can be purchased today or even in the future, however they did announce a strategic partner with Levi’s, the inventor of the blue jean, to help ATAP work on possible prototypes. Some day, Levi’s could be the first major brand to produce clothing embedded with wearable technology. … but hold your horses If you are as eager about tech as I am, now is a great time to temper your excitement. To date, ATAP has yet to push a project into “mass production.” Judging by the R&D nature of the team, I would expect a hand-off of the project to a delivery team — if it is ever green lit. At this point, anything ATAP does as an...

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