Google I/O schedule teases voice-controlled apps, long-rumored Nearby proximity service
So far today, the newly revealed Google I/O 2015 schedule has offered us several tantalizing previews of what to expect from the upcoming dev conference, including a possible new ATAP wearable and maybe even the big Android M announcement. As attendees and enthusiasts pore further through the session listings, we’re learning about a few other noteworthy features and services that will be on the menu, including some new hands-free and proximity-based abilities.
One session promises to introduce devs to Voice Access, which will grant users the ability to enjoy “access to their Android device through voice alone.” The implication there seems to be that we’re looking at a system-wide API for hands-free operation; maybe you could be viewing a recipe on a tablet in your kitchen, and rather than get flour all over the device’s screen, simply give your browser a verbal command to “scroll down.”
There’s also some scattered evidence for Google Nearby, a location-related service that we’ve heard rumored since nearly this time last year. While some aspects of Nearby have made their way into Google products – tricks like taking advantage of a phone’s microphone to detect other devices in its vicinity, Google has yet to formally disclose the project. The presence of a “Proximity-Based Communication” session on the schedule, one whose speaker is specifically identified as the Product Manager for Nearby, makes it look like the time to reveal the whole shebang is nearly upon us.