From Android N to Self-Driving Cars: What to Expect at Google I/O

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From Android N to Self-Driving Cars: What to Expect at Google I/O

Expect Google to make myriad product and technology announcements at its 2106 Google I/O developer conference, which it says will kick off May 18.

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Look for a New Version of Android

Each year, Google at its I/O conference shows off a new version of its Android mobile operating system. This year, the company is expected to unveil Android N. While Marshmallow, last year's release, has yet to make it on some of the top smartphones on the market, Google already is looking to the future. Look for Android N to make an appearance at I/O.

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Android Wear Will Get a Meaningful Update

If CES showed us anything about the technology industry, it's that wearables will play a critical role in the future. Realizing that, there's a good chance that Google will unveil a meaningful update to Android Wear at Google I/O. Several popular device makers, including LG, are relying on Android Wear to make their smartwatches and wearables competitive. Getting an update that will help their wearables compete more effectively with Apple Watch will appeal to those vendors.

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A Showcase of Cool Android-Based Devices

Although it's a developers conference, there's no reason Google shouldn't take its center stage opportunity to unveil some appealing Android-based devices. Whether they're third-party smartphones, tablets or smart home products, it'd be great to see Google showcase hardware at its confab.

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A Showcase of Android Wear Devices

In addition to smartphones and tablets, expect to see a slew of wearables at the event. After all, if Google makes a significant update to Android Wear, it would only make sense that the company would also ask partners to bring their latest wearables on stage. Perhaps even a few surprises will pop up.

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Will We Hear About Project Ara?

Project Ara, the modular smartphone technology that Google kept after it sold off Motorola, will also be featured prominently at Google I/O, according to reports. There is significant interest in the technology, and there is a belief among many in the marketplace that its modular features could be the future of smartphones. Google may try to make that case at I/O.

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Look for Some Smart Home Talk

The smart home is proving to be another growing trend, and with Google now owning Nest, it shouldn't be a surprise if the tech is featured at the event. Look for new Nest products, as well as improvements to the devices the company already sells. There's also a good chance Google will talk about updates it's made to its smart home software to entice developers to support it. Google I/O will prove clearly that the smart home war is on.

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Chromebooks All Around

Chromebooks are an important piece of the mobile makeup for Google. Realizing that, the company will almost undoubtedly announce an update to its Chrome OS platform and showcase some new and improved Chromebooks. Chromebooks have grown in popularity in both the education and enterprise markets, and Google will focus on that in its keynote at I/O. Image 7: Please use this image:

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Major Updates to Old Favorites?

Although much of Google I/O will focus on mobile and emerging technologies, the company isn't turning its back on the products that helped it achieve success. Quite the contrary, Google is rumored to be working on major improvements to Google Maps, Google Play, Google Now and even search. Expect to hear all about Google's enhancements to old-time favorites.

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Yes, Self-Driving Cars Will Be There

Self-driving cars are getting a significant push. Nearly every major company, including Google, is planning to get self-driving cars on the market, and now the Obama administration wants to facilitate that. Because of that, Google could spend considerable time at Google I/O talking about its car technology and how it plans to be a leader in what promises to be a crowded marketplace by 2020.

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Some Critical Expansion Projects

Google is also rumored to be planning to provide updates to some of its ancillary projects and ideas. For example, the company may announce that it's expanding its Project Fi service across the country or that its Google Fiber service is also getting additional rollouts. Google may even surprise us with some announcements we weren't expecting. Either way, look for some exposure to the projects Google doesn't always talk about but are critical to its future expansion plans.

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FLIR Encourages Developers to Put Thermal Imaging to Creative Use

FLIR Systems' thermal, measurement and imaging technology is used for everything from airborne and ground-based surveillance to research and development, search and rescue, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection. The company recently branched into the consumer arena with the FLIR One, which turns iOS and Android devices into thermal imaging cameras, and the FLIR FX, a line of home-monitoring systems. Now, FLIR is taking the thermal imaging core of these consumer products, the FLIR Lepton, to makers, manufacturers and developers, to see where their imaginations take them. Smaller than a fingernail, Lepton is a long-wave infrared imager that is 10 times less expensive than traditional thermal cameras. Through the FLIR One Developer Program, developers have access to...
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