Ceiling microphones and inner-body microchips: Google engineer predicts company’s next steps

googlhe.siGoogle has put supercomputers in the pockets of millions of Americans and plans to have self-driving cars soon navigating the nation’s roads. Naturally, the tech giant says they’ll next have cloud-connected microphones inside ceilings everywhere.

That’s according to chief Google engineer Scott Huffman, who made his rounds among tech reporters this week to reveal what he has already envisioned for the Silicon Valley company’s future.

Details are still quite preliminary, but Huffman predicts that before long his company will control a vast network of microphones embedded in ceilings across the world, the likes of which could give the ever-expanding audience of Google customers an easy but eerie way to interact with a virtual assistant.

Think of it as Google’s take on the Siri personal assistant developed by engineers at Apple for the Android’s top competitor, the iPhone. Instead of asking your phone for help, however, Google’s high-tech digital deputy could be just a whisper away.

“Computing is becoming so inexpensive that it’s inevitable that there will be a ubiquity of connected devices around us, from our lapel to our car to Google Glass,” Huffman told reporters at the UK’s Independent. As that technology becomes increasingly more accessible, Google wants to add another item to that mix of inner-connected cyber smart tools, and making microphones a part of that infrastructure is already on their agenda.

Google users wouldn’t have to rely on their cloud-synced calendars to alert them with a text message or email about an important business meeting, for instance. Instead, Huffman told the Independent, “Like a great personal assistant, it will interrupt you and say ‘you’ve got to leave now.’ It will bring you the information you want.”

“Imagine I can say to a microphone in the ceiling of the room ‘ Can you bring up a video of the highlights of yesterday’s Pittsburgh Steelers game and play it on a TV in the living room?’ and it works because the Cloud means everything is connected,” he told the paper. “I could ask my Google ‘assistant’ where we should have lunch, that serves French food and isn’t too expensive? Google will go ‘Ok, we’ll go to that place’ and when I get in my car it should already be navigating to that restaurant. We’re really excited by the idea of multiple devices being able to talk to each other.”

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