Google recently hosted its first India-specific I/O Connect developers conference in Bengaluru, where it introduced a range of new AI-powered tools aimed at empowering developers across the country. These tools and initiatives cater specifically to the Indian market, showcasing Google’s commitment to advancing technology in India. In this article, we explore the highlights from the conference and the impact these tools will have on developers and users alike.
Address Descriptors: Simplifying Navigation in India:
As part of the Google Maps Platform, Google announced a new feature called address descriptors, which is an India-first experiment available in over 25 cities. This feature aims to simplify navigation by allowing customers to easily find and navigate to addresses using landmarks and area names. It helps address the challenges posed by India’s complex addressing system, making it more user-friendly and efficient.
Project Vani: Digitizing Indian Languages:
Google has been collaborating with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru on Project Vani, an initiative to digitize Indian languages using AI. In a significant move, Google has open-sourced all the data from Project Vani, comprising 38 languages and 4,000 hours of speech data. This data is now available to developers, enabling them to leverage AI to create innovative solutions that support Indian languages.
Empowering Sellers with Google Cloud and ONDC:
Google Cloud launched an initiative in partnership with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. This collaboration aims to assist sellers in building and scaling commerce platforms across India. Furthermore, Google is open-sourcing the ONDC infrastructure and core APIs, leveraging retail AI technology and the PaLM API to enhance scalability and security.
Startup Credit Program and Expanded AI Tools:
In a bid to support startups, Google introduced a startup credit program specifically for companies using the ONDC infrastructure, allowing them to apply for a grant of $25,000. Additionally, Google announced that its AI tools, including the PaLM API, MakerSuite, and Vertex AI, will now be accessible to Indian developers. This expansion offers developers in India the opportunity to harness Google’s advanced AI capabilities in their projects.
Studio Bot and Future AI-Powered Tools:
Google showcased several upcoming AI-powered tools, including Studio Bot, designed to make coding more accessible and efficient for developers. These tools aim to streamline the development process and enable developers to build innovative solutions more easily.
India’s Growing Market for Smart Devices:
During the conference, Google confirmed the significant growth of the smartwatch category in India, experiencing a two-fold increase. Additionally, India stands as one of the largest markets for smart TVs globally, reflecting the country’s increasing appetite for connected and intelligent devices.
Google’s India-specific I/O Connect developers conference showcased the company’s commitment to supporting the Indian developer community and advancing technology in the country. The introduction of AI-powered tools, such as address descriptors, Project Vani, and the ONDC collaboration, demonstrates Google’s focus on solving local challenges and fostering innovation. By providing open-source data and expanding access to AI tools, Google empowers Indian developers to create transformative solutions that cater to the unique needs of the Indian market, furthering technological progress in the country.