Alphabet Inc just gave a heads up on how the smartphone will look in five years from now. At a Web Summit tech conference in Ireland last month, replying to a question from BI, Google Now director, Aparna Chennapragada, said in the future technology will do “a lot more of the heavy lifting,” apps are desilo-ed, and the desired information will proactively flow to the users.
Virtual assistants at the core
Taking of three “key shifts,” Aparna says “On a phone, you want answers on the go, you don’t have time to wade through screens. You want quick answers on the go. That’s the first shift.”
Talking of the second shift, she says unlike the PCs, where the search engine is used for finding info, on phones it will be more about getting work done. Citing examples, she says the phones will be able to play music via Spotify or call a Uber cab. “In some sense it’s not about getting answers, it’s about getting stuff done,” she said.
Detailing on the third shift, she says it will be “closer to my heart on Google Now,” as with phones we not only will expect to find the information, but will also expect the information to find us. Aparna says this will be a big shift not only for the small firms, but also for Alphabet.
Aparna further says that all these shifts will revolve around virtual assistants, which are a hot thing presently. This Alphabet executive is not alone to believe in the virtual assistants as almost every major player in the tech arena is thinking and working on the same.
Almost all big tech firms are working on bettering their own VAs – Alphabet Inc had Google Now, Facebook has M, Microsoft has Cortana and Apple has Siri. “The core job for us at Google in this new world is about assisting users … it’s how do you get your answers fast, how do we help you get stuff done,” she said.
Alphabet working on next-gen Google Glass?
Apart from the phones, Alphabet Inc is also preparing its next-gen Google Glass. The gadget was launched three years back, but concerns over privacy, and fashion, blocked it from going mainstream. From January this year, the firm stopped selling the $1,500 device. But a recent FCC filing and leaks suggests that the firm is still working to make it better.
It is believed that the new device will come with a larger prism display, an Atom processor, and support both 4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless channels. The device will be targeted at the enterprise market rather than the retail users. The new device, which could be a smaller “monocle” rather than a pair of glasses, may also come with an external battery pack to extend battery life.