Adding fuel to the rumor, the blog Android Police found a clue to Android VR buried in the Android N preview. A May 16 note from PiperJaffray also speculates that Google has ramped up its hiring of employees with VR experience by almost 60%, bringing it to about 350, in the last nine months.

Project Tango

The I/O schedule this year includes at least five sessions on Project Tango. Tango is Google’s endeavor to map indoor spaces in 3D using cameras and depth sensors on Android devices. These sensors will soon show up in consumer smartphones. According to Bloomberg, the technology could help Google gain ground in virtual reality, since Tango doesn’t require additional equipment to map environments and recreate them digitally.


Yesterday, Google released a new app called Spaces to help groups share articles, videos, and images. But reports from recent months suggest Google has much grander messaging ambitions. Google is reportedly working on a WeChat-like messaging app that integrates a chat bot—a big theme of Facebook’s and Microsoft’s recent developer conferences.

Google Chirp

Though it appears unlikely Google will launch its Amazon Echo competitor this week, the company could point to it as an example of its work in artificial intelligence. Internally nicknamed Chirp, Google’s portable speaker reportedly uses an intelligent assistant to respond to spoken queries and commands.

More women

Google’s made a huge push in recent years to welcome more women at I/O, and this year is no different. It has partnered with organizations, including the Anita Borg Institute, Women Who Code, and Girl Develop It, to offer stipends, travel grants, and tickets for female developers. A Google spokeswoman says 23% of attendees are female this year. Though the ratio is flat from the year prior, the rep notes attendance is up almost 25%. Before the conference kicks off, Google is also hosting a dinner tonight with about 1,000 female attendees.

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