As part of Google's latest operating system, Marshmallow, it has introduced Google Now On Tap, aimed at making the company's contextual search service smarter by allowing users to access information without opening the app.
This is an extension of Google Now, which was first launched in 2012 to help people make decisions in the context of the data it has gathered about them. The simple premise is that by knowing a user's daily behaviours and preferences, google can produce a set of relevant information and suggestion. For example, it will know if a flight's been booked and present useful information on traffic to the airport, status of the flight, weather and time at the destination. It can even offer information on currency conversion.
Now On Tap builds this even deeper into the mobile OS in a variety of ways. The most simple include understanding what a user is looking at on screen, for example a text message, or the app they're using. More complex applications see Google's Knowledge graph combining with natural language processing to understand the context behind voice commands.
But On Tap is not the only exciting development to revealed this week. The conversations around the Internet of Things are heating up and like all the other tech giants, Google is expected to reinforce its stake in the game today. Not only does it have its foot in the door from its acquisition of Nest Labs in 2014, but it will also now be looking to control the home with the introduction of Project Brillo and Weave.
Project Brillo is Google's operating system for the Internet of Things. It's a form of Android that's been stripped right back to the bare essentials so that it can run on very simple devices and systems. The company hopes that this will ensure it is light enough to become integrated into everyday household objects, allowing for everything from cat flaps to taps to achieve internet connectivity.
Weave is the second piece of the puzzle - a drastically simple way for these connected objects to talk to each other, allowing a door to lock or talk to a phone or tablet, Google is making weave agnostic in an attempt to make it as accessible as possible, which means it will even work across Apple devices. For this reason, it's something that's going to be important for brands ad manufacturers to keep in mind, especially given that Garter predicted that by the end of the year there would be 4.9bn connected "things" in use, reaching every aspect of our lives.