Google I/O 2021 presents Smart Canvas upgrade, Project Starline, & a self-diagnosis tool

The Google I/O 2021 event will take place over three days, and while day one hasn't mentioned any new product launches, the tech giant has some exciting new software upgrades to its current platforms, as well as some innovative, potentially life-changing, technology tools.

Google I/O 2021 presents Smart Canvas upgrade, Project Starline, & a self-diagnosis tool
Google I/O 2021 event dates

Day one of Google I/O 2021 has unveiled some high-tech upgrades that could have a huge impact on how you follow road directions, work online, and even diagnosing your own health concerns. In today’s blog, let’s uncover these new programs and technology to expect soon from Google.

Smart Canvas adds tagging people within a document

Google Workspace has received a revamp with Smart Canvas, helping to make Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides much smarter and more advanced. Smart Canvas makes it possible to tag people within a document, simply by using the “@” key before typing their name. Additionally, you can make references to other documents so that it’s easy to switch between different documents within one Google Doc. You can even add a task list within a file.

Google Workspace Smart Canvas

Google Maps eco-friendly routes update and AI upgrades for indoor directions

You’ll see an update in Google Maps with eco-friendly routes for the most fuel-efficient journeys. As a result, you can reduce car emissions and fuel consumption. Currently, there are 150,000 miles of bike lanes integrated into Google Maps with the intention of this number growing.

Additionally, AI will finally make its way to Google Maps for innovative indoor directions. Imagine getting lost in an airport; Google Maps will guide you through your confusion.

Furthermore, Google Maps will provide access to live view instantly from the map. This upgrade will also clearly showing street signs to make it easier for you to find your way home.

LaMDA: Google’s next-generation AI technology will better understand the context of conversations

LaMDA is Google’s latest sophisticated language technology to help the internet best understand the context of conversations. This technology is specifically designed for dialogue applications. With an example of having a conversation with a paper airplane, the Google I/O 2021 shows how you can have a natural conversation. This technology is still in progress.

Password Manager will receive an upgrade for better integration between devices

Google’s Password Manager tool isn’t new but it will receive some updates. For example, Google will important passwords and save them from your current password managers. Additionally, Password Manager will also feature better integration between Android and Chrome. This allows your passwords to switch from sites to apps. This technology will also alert you in the event of a password security breach.

Google Shopping will support any site powered by Shopify and can even source products from a picture

Working in partnership with Shopify, Google Shopping allows Shopify’s 1.7 million merchants to feature their product across Google within a couple of clicks. Most impressively, this collaboration allows you to actually purchase the accessories that you see in a picture. This tech giant will incorporate Google Lens and AI to make all of this possible. For example, if you take a screenshot of a product, Google Photos lets you identify it using Lens. You can then shop for that product right from the photo app.

Self-diagnosis AI health tool to get answers to any health concerns

Google wants to take the pressure off of waiting for results. This breakthrough AI technology helps to assist consumers in self-diagnosing hundreds of skin conditions. Derm Assist allows you to upload images of your medical concern to the Derm Assist website. From there, it’ll answer questions and let you know about symptoms. An AI model will then analyze the information to provide a list of matching conditions. It’s a service that will be free to all internet users, and Google plans to release it in the EU at the end of this year.

Google wants to emphasize that this AI technology provides access to authoritative information rather than being a self-diagnosis. So you shouldn’t use it instead of seeking professional advice.

Project Starline is person-to-person communication technology that shows people before you in 3D

This new technology project combines advances in hardware and software. Impressively, it allows you to feel like you’re in the same room as a coworker, friend, or family member. As Google describes it, it’s like looking through a “magic window”. You’ll see another person in life-size and 3D. You can talk naturally, make gestures, and even make eye contact with this person. Currently, Project Starline is available in Google’s offices.

Overall, these new technological developments announced at Google I/O 2021 have us excited—especially the self-diagnosis tool. But what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Amy Poole is an Editor and Writer at Gadget Flow. When she's not indulged in everything gadget-related, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Rosie, and keeping fit.
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