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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The Tech Circuit

Yasunari Ramon Suarez - The Freeman

"Project Ara" working prototype

CEBU, Philippines – A working prototype of the circa 2013 "Project Ara" smartphone was presented in this year's Google I/O.

The prototype adheres to the modular form factor that's being pushed for by the project - that is, a phone which can be interchanged or upgraded with modular or attachable/detachable components (like more RAM, a more robust camera or a higher capacity battery) to fit a user's particular needs.

The unveiling of the prototype came with the announcement that developer editions of the smartphone will be made available later in the year - and that the smartdevice itself will be made commercially available by 2017.

Google I/O conference 2016

Since 2008, Google's annual Google I/O conference has captured the attention of software developers and device manufacturers all over the world, owing to its standing as a platform wherein the latest developments by Google and its partners take center stage.

Essentially a software developer's conference that focuses on the development of web, mobile and enterprise-class applications using Google and open source web technologies like Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and Google Web Toolkit, among others, the gathering has also become a launch pad for various new-in-the-market technologies and devices, covering working device prototypes and beta versions of operating systems and digital platforms.

Held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California from on May 18 to 20, this year's Google I/O unveiled some noteworthy "internet of things" (IoT) entities.

Daydream

A new virtual reality platform dubbed "Daydream" was presented at this year's Google I/O. The platform aims to extend what Google Cardboard has broken ground in the arena of immersive modes of digital content and entertainment.

A reference headset/unit for "Daydream" that comes with a multi-button handheld controller was introduced as part of the platform's presentation, along with Google's plans of developing its own headset and controller for "Daydream."

Given the positive reception of Google's virtual reality-steeped offerings, "Daydream's" unveiling - along with the announcement of the company's plans of rolling out its own dedicated VR kit - doesn't come far removed from what Google has to offer to netizens and electronic consumers.

Jacket that combines fashion with technology

A jacket primarily designed for cyclists was presented in this year's Google I/O, one born from a partnership between Google and the internationally famed denim brand Levi Strauss.

Dubbed "Levi's Commuter Trucker" jacket, the product takes off from the "Project Jacquard" initiative which was announced in last year's Google I/O conference.

The jacket enables its wearer to do a variety of smartphone-related tasks like switch songs, get directions to certain places or drop/ignore phone calls without physically interacting with a smartdevice.

Designed to wirelessly connect with a paired device, the jacket is made of denim and is woven with conductive threads that can monitor/track physical taps or swipes.

Beta variants of the jacket were announced to be rolled out later this year, while its commercial release is expected next year. (FREEMAN)

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