A little bonus for attendees

Did you read the latest email that the #io15  team sent out after the conference? With the subject Google I/O 2015 videos and more? No?

Go read it. All the way. To the bottom... and you'll find a little offer at the bottom for a fairly nice deal. If you use a Google account (and all of us are), you are probably interested in it.

(And if you're not going to take advantage of the offer... drop me a note. I may know someone who would be interested.)

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Despite spreading the word about this last-minute addition to the #io15  program, I wasn't able to make it. I showed up after another session only to discover that +Timothy Jordan had finished speaking already. So I finally got a chance to catch up on the video.

20 minutes of fairly densely packed information, but all of it immensely useful and important. From the "big picture" view to several announcements to pointers to code, Timothy hits all the major points.

He defines Ubiquitous Computing as "accessible to the user whenever and wherever they need it". I might quibble with that just a little - it isn't just that it is available, but that it is available with a User Experience that makes sense in the context (which he spends much of the rest of the time saying as well).

Within the framework of the existing watch-like devices, TV devices, and auto devices, add the growing list of other "at home" devices such as those from Nest or with the upcoming Brillo, and we need a framework to discuss how to build the UX for them. Building on the "one Controller - multiple Views" pattern, he provided a number of illustrations.

He also proposed a design model:
- Simple
- Contextual
- Immediate (focusing on micro-interactions)
- Extensible

(And if you've been listening to him or I speak for the past 2 years or so... you wouldn't have been surprised by any of this.)

Me? I'd summarize it with my oft-used phrase: "Stop thinking about apps and start thinking about actions."

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I want to assure +Scott Maxwell​ that, yes, I had a damn good time on his guided tour of Spirit's journey.
So Google asked me to jet up to SF for a day to help show off Google Expeditions, a way to take students on a virtual field trip for essentially no cost using their nifty Cardboard VR headset. They'd set up a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History, and one to some coral reefs -- and one through the life of the very best Mars rover ever, Spirit.

I couldn't say no.

So this is what that was like for me. It's a bit of a whirlwind tour, but that's appropriate, since it was a whirlwind for me, too.

As it turns out, I spent a few hours taking enthusiastic audiences through a criminally abbreviated tour of Spirit's life. All of the hard work had already been done by +Emily Lakdawalla, so I just needed to show up and run my mouth.

I've said for years that the thing I liked best about working on Mars rovers wasn't just joy-riding around other planets. Don't get me wrong, that was great. But the best part is, since the missions share all their images promptly on the Web, anybody who wants to can ride along on the mission with me -- they can be a backseat rover driver, as I say.

This took that to a whole new level. Instead of listening to me ramble about static images, trying to convey in words what I find to be so magic about this experience, the audience could stand there on Mars with me while I told them about it.

Discovering with me, with Spirit, that the rocks we'd come 500 million kilometers to see were, geologically, the wrong kind -- a bust. Finding hope on the horizon, but too far away. Struggling there anyway, against all odds. Climbing a mountain the height of the Statue of Liberty, and then pressing on to its other side. And, last of all, fouling in a cruel Martian tar-pit trap, sinking and gasping for sunlight and then going gently, and finally, to that long sleep.


I hope they had a damn good time. Because I know I did.

If you're a teacher -- or curious -- you can learn more about Expeditions here: https://www.google.com/edu/expeditions/

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow and...

Followup from my earlier post, because +Martin Omander (lead North American +Google Developer Experts and +Google Developer Groups wrangler) posted pictures of his kid as part of the I/O Youth program and graciously said that I could reshare them.

"It had nothing to do with me being a Googler. Google went to the Elementary School and asked if they wanted to participate."

Hopefully Martin will share some more info about what the kids did Friday at #io15.
Theuerkauf goes to Google I/O Youth
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And now it's time to say goodbye...

And just like that... things started to wind down. The displays closed. The work crews arrived to get ready for the next conference. Farewells were bid to friends whom we wouldn't see for another year, perhaps. Pictures were taken.

I've said many times that Google I/O isn't about the technology. It isn't about the sessions, or presentations, or displays.

It is about the people.

The Google engineers who we meet who help make the tools we use. The DevRel people who are there to help us learn The GDEs and GDGs who become our daily contact. The project managers and executives who drive the company, as a whole, forward with their visions. The guy you sit down to have lunch with.

+Gerwin Sturm and +Anna Kastlunger have become wonderful friends over the nearly five years we've known each other. I finally met Gerwin for the first time at I/O 2012, and still can't pronounce his name correctly. I met Anna a year later at I/O 2013. I follow the progress of their garden through the year. Perhaps this will be the year I get to Europe, and I hope to visit them while there. But till then... it is farewell for now.

This ends my semi-live notes from #io15. I'll have a few more posts over the next few days and weeks as I write longer notes about things, or watch the video from some of the sessions I couldn't make. I want to thank all of you who followed from home or from an I/O Extended event, commented, challenged, and asked questions. I hope you got a flavor of what the I/O experience was like. My thanks, especially, to +Linda Lawton, who couldn't make it to I/O this year but covered it from home for the +Google Developer Experts page.

Hope to see you at I/O 2016.

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There were clusters of teens and tweens around the building as we arrived for the second day of #io15, and it wasn't immediately obvious why. We eventually found out - there were a few hundred students there participating in a Youth I/O day. They were mostly hidden on the third floor, away from the masses, but we would see clusters of them occasionally.

+Nitya Narasimhan and I were standing together when we heard the explanation. And looking forward to when our kids will be old enough to participate.

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At #io15, it gets pretty easy to get caught up in all the new and cool and flashy. Cars that drive themselves. Internet for the next Billion people. Letting your kids use a chromebook or a tablet. How things look better and cooler and what you have on your wrist and using your fingers to control a virtual knob. And we can gripe about how the real-time video stream is glitchy or our flight was delayed or our new phone only has a 20MP camera.

And sometimes, you step back, and realize that for some people... technology will help them put a spoon with food in their mouths. Or help them walk. Or see or hear. And if it does nothing more than that - it will be enough.
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ATAP: Project ARA

Basic demo. With selfie after adding a camera.
The camera worked.


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ATAP: Stories

Spotlight Stories:
“Live theater persists in the face of cinema.
Radio persists in the face of television.”
“The Secrets of Storytelling” Jeremy Hsu, SciAm 2008.
“Storytelling is one of the few human traits that are truly universal across culture and all known history.”
“We are wired for stories. It is part of being human.”
How do we enable more creators to create more stories? We create an SDK - Story Development Kit.
Need to work out a story in space as well as time.
“We are trying to predict the curiosity of the viewer, and make it very seamless.”
Spotlight Stories app for Android, and iOS soon. This summer supported natively on YouTube mobile.
existing 360 cameras were insufficient - 4 cameras with fisheye lenses at 6k resolution each. on-set live stitching and preview.
Dynamic surround sound. “Subtle and rich and realistic acoustic spaces. In real time. 360. Mobile”
Justin Lin
(wtf was that demo movie? Most people kept looking forward, and it was never clear where one should be looking. And the direction perspective kept changing.)
(Glenn Keene! awesome!)

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ATAP: Security

“Passwords suck. Squirrel noises are not scalable.”
“We need patterns to remember things.”
Continuum of trust by looking at human pattern (how you type… how you talk… etc) perhaps with multi-modal authentication. Tests indicate that this may be much better than fingerprints and PINs.
Possibly a continuous trust score that evaluates behavior along the day, continuously updated, in real time.

Project Vault:
Hardware and software isolated environment.
Secure SIM for communication and storage.
(Being really vague here.)
“Separate, ultra-secure, microcomputer”
Virtual file system with incredibly limited access point.
Fully open source hardware.
(This is very very nifty. But it changes the attack point for any communication or data storage. I don't think it solves as many problems as they seem to be saying.)

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