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Luke Cartwright
Luke Cartwright

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I went to the day 1 of the virtual Google IO 2021. What did I learn?

I have never been to a Google IO event in person but wow! What a start to the conference!
The first Google IO keynote covered topics like: Smart Canvas, Google photos, laMDA, Quantum computing, Privacy, Search, Maps and Shopping.

One topic that was often mentioned was AI. It's no secret Google has a massive load of data and they are using that data to bring us amazing products and new features.

Here are a few mentions that I thought were amazing!

Google Photos - 'Little Patterns'

A new feature is using machine learning to make a moving photo from 2 photos that have been taken in close succession. The example was using 2 photos of their children and filling in the frames using machine learning. There is also a feature to group similar photos together which will discover stories in you photo gallery.

Skin condition analyser

One project that peaked my interest was a feature in search to detect 288 skin conditions using AI and Image recognition. This feature is hoped to be released by the end of the year and can be achieved by uploading a few photos of the skin from different angles.

Project Starline

I'm sure like me you have had your fair share of video calls over the last year and google has noted this and they have been researching with a depth camera to compose an realtime video call that looks 3D.

Material You

Have you used Material Design? It's great! I've used Material UI with React and this new update adds more customisability. One feature that Google demoed was creating a custom color scheme from the lock screen image.

Password Manager updates

This tool is a life saver and build into Chrome. And with the new update it will be available in android apps. Passwords can now be imported from other password managers. Highly recommend this tool to suggest passwords aswell.


Google really wanted you to know their goals of being more sustainable. They became one of the first big companies to be Carbon neutral in 2007 and in 2017 they used 100% renewable energy. And their next goal is being Carbon free energy by 2030, this will be achieved with updates to their data centers and one of their new campus' has a Dragon Scale Solar skin and use a Geothermal pile system underneath.

This was my first Google IO keynote as a junior developer and it was fascintiating to see where google is going and learn about some of the latest breakthroughs. It's clear that AI is not going anywhere and I need to get on that train! Any resources to get up to speed?

Google IO is from 18th - 20th May 2021.
Watch the remaining Google IO 2021 here

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