Google on Wednesday began its annual I/O developer conference with Sundar Pichai's first keynote as Google's CEO. More than 7,000 people gathered at the event in Mountain View, Calif., with others from 100 countries streaming it live. During the keynote, Mr. Pichai and Google executives unveiled a number of new products -- some of them that had already leaked -- that shows the company's ambitions in mobile, artificial intelligence, search, virtual reality and more. Here's a look at some of those new products that should be of interest to marketers.
Mr. Pichai opened the keynote in part with some mobile stats, including the fact that over 50% of the searches Google gets are made on mobile phones. More than 20% of those are made with voice search. It's no wonder, then, that the company announced a product it called just the Google assistant, a product that's been rumored for some time.
Referring to rival products such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, Mr. Pichai promised that Google's virtual helper is "far ahead of what other assistants can do." Users standing near Chicago's "Cloud Gate" sculpture could ask their smartphone's assistant who designed it and get a quick answer, he said. (It's Anish Kapoor.) The assistant can also tell users what movies are playing nearby and buy tickets. It will be incorporated into Google Home, the company's new voice-controlled device for the home, but work across other devices as well.
The company is hoping developers will create services for its assistant that help consumers buy marketers' products, the way people can use Alexa to order an Uber or a Domino's pizza.