Google took us further into the digital media future with some compelling announcements at the fourth annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week. Recent Google I/O keynotes seem silly in retrospect — both Google Wave and Buzz were epic busts. But this year Google narrowed its focuses to it’s strengths, namely the Android mobile operating system and the Chrome browser and operating system. The gist was this: Use Google’s web-based tools and applications, combine with seemingly infinite storage space in the cloud, and bulky hard drives and desktop PC’s will become mere artifacts of our technological evolution. A Google account combined with a device running Android or Chrome OS will be all you need to do [almost] anything.
Chrome 11 benchmarks at 10 times the speed of previous versions and Google is ready to pronounce the death of the PC, as we know it. On June the Chromebook — a netbook with cloud-based applications built specifically for the enterprise and education — will hit the streets, with Samsung and Acer as partners. The Chromebooks will be available to businesses for $28 per user per month and to educational institutes for $20 per user per month. The Chromebooks, with 11.6-inch (Acer) or 12.1-inch HD displays (Samsung), will be available to consumers from $349 for the Acer to $429 (WiFi only) and $499 (3G) for the Samsung.
Also coming soon (live as of May 12) — the team that produced Arcade Fire’s The Wilderness Downtown interactive video will launch and even more interactive music video with integrated UGC built on top of the Danger Mouse with Daniele Luppi release titled Rome + Jack White (dropping May 17th, stream via NPR)
The Google I/O 2011 afterparty was geek entertainment at it’s best. Complete with a token 45-minute set by Jane’s Addiction (with Chris Chaney on bass – Eric Avery left the band last year) and dozens of extreme geeks holding up their newly gifted Samsung Galaxy Tabs to shoot a few clips of video (watch the set in HD below), the highlight of the event was likely the Maker Faire-esque playground of Google-powered and -inspired installations. Robotic symphonies performed by everyday kitchen appliances; the famous self-driving car; a mellow set by DJ Mark Farina; a pinball arcade; and this thrilling bicycle-powered carousel (warning: watching video may cause dizziness)….
[nggallery id=8] Click here to view Google I/O photo gallery on flickr.