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If you’re an avid IndianWeb2 reader, then you might be aware of our obsession with AI and machine learning and how we make sure that we keep our readers caught up on all the latest happenings in the fields. So, when tech giant Google showed off some of the best practical applications of AI and machine learning this week at its annual developer conference in Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California, we decided to give all our fellow tech enthusiasts a quick rundown on the 5 big announcements that the tech giant made.

VPS – Visual Positioning System

It’s been a while since the GPS (global positioning system) has been making our lives easier. Though the technology is of great use when travelling around large areas outside, but when it comes to finding more accurate location of things, the technology somewhere flatlines. This is where Google’s visual positioning system (VPS) comes into action.

According to Google’s head of virtual reality, Clay Bavor, while GPS can help you get you to the door, VPS can take you to the exact location of the item that you’re looking for. The technology makes use of Tango, a 3D visualisation technology to search for recognisable objects around the user to find out exactly where you are, with an accuracy of a few centimetres.

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The one big limitation with VPS is, that there are hardly any smartphones currently in the market have the Tango technology. This means, even if Google gets VPS ready today, it would only reach a few people.

Daydream Becomes Better

Tech giant Google got every tech enthusiast excited last year when it announced its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform along with a headset that one could easily slip a smartphone in to create a wonderful VR experience, that too without spending a bomb.

This year, Google made a few announcements on the Daydream front. Firstly, it unveiled that the new Samsung Galaxy devices will be compatible with Daydream. This is being considered as an interesting development considering the fact that until now Samsung devices only worked with Gear VR, a Samsung manufactured headset that ran Facebook’s Oculus VR. On why would Samsung want to get associated with Daydream when it has its own Gear VR is something that everyone is trying to decrypt.

The second big announcement that Google made in regards to Daydream was that it is planning to launch two standalone Daydream headsets that wouldn’t require the user to add a smartphone in order to enjoy the VR experience. Though no specific date has been announced on when we will be able to see the two standalone handsets in action, but Google did announce that it has joined hands with HTC and Lenovo to make the devices.

Google Lens

Trust Google to keep making things better and better. The tech giant has now turned its artificial intelligence to cameras. According to what Google showed at its conference this week, our camera will soon be able to remove unwanted items from the view so that we can get that masterpiece that we all aim to capture with each of our click. In addition to this, the app which has been in the development stage for quite some time now, uses image recognition to identify objects appearing in your camera lens in real-time. It means you can point at a dish in a restaurant and be told exactly what it is. According to Google, soon pointing our cameras at a restaurant will show us its reviews in real-time, after its AI identifies the restaurant.

Though Google has still not given a concrete date for when Google Lens will be available, but it did unveil that it would be a part of its assistant and photos app at first.

Google Home

The tech giant’s standalone assistant, Google Home has been for fighting a losing battle against Amazon’s Alexa device. In order to take a control of the situation, Google announced that it has decided to make a few new additions to its Google Home. Firstly, the tech giant announced that now a Google Home user will be able to make phone calls using the assistant. In fact, the device’s voice recognition capabilities allows different family members to call from their own separate numbers through the same Home device.

Secondly, Google announced that Google Home will now offer proactive information, rather than simply answer the questions that the user has asked. For example, now the assistant will be able to refer the Google calendar and tell the user if they need to be present somewhere at a certain time, and if the traffic situation on their route their was bad.

Thirdly, Google has decided to release a software development kit (SDK) for Google Home to allow third-party developers to integrate Google’s assistant into their own products. Interestingly, Amazon did the same thing with Alexa a while ago.

Clever Photo Tools For Better Pictures

It was only recently the tech giant announced that its Photo app now has over 500 million users. Experts claim that the reason for the app’s massive success is the machine learning capability that Google has incorporated in it using which the app can sort through a user’s pictures and understand what they contain.

During the keynote, Google announced that the next step for the Google Photo app is to allow its users share their pictures more easily. The giant said that it has observed that people often take a lot of pictures but then end up doing nothing with them. But now, using facial recognition, Google Photos will be able to spot a person, let’s say Jessica and automatically suggest you send the picture, or a group of them, straight to Jessica. According to the giant, with this new feature, it aims to remove a little of the friction that is currently present with photo-sharing.

The shared Libraries takes this feature a step further, allowing a parent to share, for example, any picture of their kids automatically with their partner. The software will automatically recognise the faces and create the album for the user. Though Google has assured that there would be no unexpected sharing of pictures you want to keep secret, but only time will tell how safe this feature is exactly.

[Top Image: Business Insider]

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