by Matt Kapko

Behind the scenes at Google I/O 2016

May 19, 2016
Car TechConsumer ElectronicsDeveloper

These 13 images provide an inside look at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., the site of Google's 2016 I/O developer conference, as well as some other quirky scenery at I/O.

Google I/O 2016 kicks off in style

Google this week held its annual developer conference right next door to its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., at the massive, storied Shoreline Amphitheatre. More than 6,500 people attended the outdoor keynote address, which felt a bit like an early morning rave, complete with thundering bass, trippy imagery and ambient sound.

Check-in and Google I/O swag

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Image by Matt Kapko

At the registration desk, I/O attendees received all kinds of swag, including Google’s Cardboard VR headset, a water bottle, a head wrap, sunscreen and shades — omens of the heat that came later in the day.

DJ amps up the crowd

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Image by Matt Kapko

A DJ was on stage at I/O to make sure attendees were awake with a heavy dose of techno and bass.

Google CEO takes the main stage

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Image by REUTERS/Stephen Lam

During the opening keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced the company’s Google Assistant, a new platform that blends AI and machine learning to provide more contextual responses and automated action. “We want users to have an ongoing, two-way dialogue with Google,” he said. “We think of this as building each user their own individual Google.”

Google Home makes its debut


Image by Matt Kapko

Google’s Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz revealed the Google Home voice assistant device during the opening I/O keynote. The device is expected to ship later this year, and it will compete directly with Amazon’s Echo assistant.

VR gets an upgrade

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Image by Matt Kapko

Clay Bavor, vice president of virtual reality at Google, said more than 50 million apps have been downloaded for Google Cardboard to date. He also announced an expansion of VR to Android and a new platform for high quality VR on mobile devices, called Daydream, that’s expected to be released this fall.

Marathon I/O keynote comes to a close

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Image by Matt Kapko

Once the morning keynote was a wrap, attendees clogged the aisles as they filtered out to the surrounding areas to check out special exhibits and demo booths.

Calm after the storm at Shoreline Amphitheatre

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Image by Matt Kapko

Just a few minutes after the keynote ended, only a few brave souls remained in the amphitheatre’s seating bowl.

Google bikes stand by

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Image by Matt Kapko

Google I/O attendees could cruise around parts of the event venue on colorful bikes.

A dancing, painting robot at I/O

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Image by Matt Kapko

Picture this: a robot, dancing on a swivel, picking up brushes at random while spraying various colors of paint at a large, rotating box rotating. That happened at I/O.

Next stop, Burning Man?

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Image by Matt Kapko

It’s unclear exactly what this wacky bus has to do with Google, or I/O, or developers, but it was outfitted to look like a wooden ship ready for some rough seas ahead.

Let Google do the driving for you

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Image by Matt Kapko

Forget the wacky wooden bus. Google’s self-driving car prototype could take you wherever you need to go.

Reflecting on I/O through art

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Image by Matt Kapko

Google has packed I/O venues with creative ideas for a decade, but this year it took art exhibits to a new level, with installations like this colorful mirror setup.