Droidcon, the biggest conference for Android developers in Europe, came back to London last 24th-25th October, bringing with it the world's most futuristic Android technology and the leading lights of the Android industry. Members of the Android community got together for two days of discussion and discovery of the newest innovations in Android - from phones to smart mirrors to cars.
Here are my top 3 highlights from the conference:
Seraku Smart Mirror and Basin
Making its first ever appearance outside of Japan, it's serves the morning's breaking news, weather and assesses your weight. The smart mirror is powered by the Android platform and served via an LCD monitor with a semitransparent reflective glass laid on top. It sports a proximity sensor, so the size of display adjusts according to the user's proximity. Interacting with it requires moving your hands towards the sensors on the mirror.
Whilst it's an interesting piece of technology, it would be better if it could integrate with your phone or newsreader of choice instead of being a standalone device. It would also be helpful if you could have a selection of apps such as to do lists on there so you can add or mark tasks as done when starting or finishing your day.
Epson Moverio BT-100 smart glass
Epson is best known for printers and projectors, but they actually already came out with a market ready smart glass. It basically renders content onto the real world through its transparent lenses. I can see it being good for gaming, augmented reality and training purposes.
However, I think that the user interface and the form factor still needs a bit of work. Currently, you navigate through a handheld touch based remote which is clunky compared to Google glass. I also wouldn't wear the glasses outside of a laboratory or for more than a few hours at a time. It's an interesting product for enterprise training though.
5-tiles keyboard on i'm watch
5-tiles, an alternative keyboard for Android devices, hacked their keyboard onto the i'm watch. As it only requires space to put 5 keys, it's an ideal keyboard for a smart watch. The 5-tiles keyboard is still not available on smart watches today, but it definitely is an interesting route to take.
Although, the user would need to relearn how to type (only using 5 tiles), I think this would make a great keyboard for the smart watches and smart glasses.
I think that this year's Droidcon London had a lot of interesting things to offer; the Android community is definitely innovating in the right direction. However, we still need to stick to a standard that the community can work towards so that we're all joined up in our efforts. My top 3 picks reflect the fact that there still needs a lot of work to be done for these innovations to take on mass distribution, but it nevertheless is fascinating to see them.