Google’s Schmidt heralds age of augmented humanity

8 Sep 2010

Current technology is approaching ‘the age of augmented humanity’, said Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the IFA’s closing keynote speeches in Berlin. Other Google products were also displayed, such as a mobile version of Google translate, Android Voice Actions and Google TV.

Schmidt referred to Bill Gates’ idea of “information at your fingertips” proposed at COMDEX in 1990, stating that “We’re nearly there now, which is what’s so profound.”

“You can know literally everything,” added Schmidt. “It’s fantastic. And this is only going to become more pervasive.”

He noted that Google’s products, such as Android’s Voice Actions and Google TV, are an extension of the way humans think and expect things to function.

“The computer and the human each does something better because the other is helping,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said search will be faster, more personal and more automatic.

“When I walk down the streets of Berlin, I like history. What I want is for my computer — my smartphone — to be doing searches constantly,” said Schmidt.

“Did you know? Did you know? Did you know? This occurred here. This occurred there. Because it knows who I am, it knows what I care about, and it knows roughly where I am.

“This notion of autonomous search — the ability to tell me things I didn’t know but am probably very interested in — is the next great stage, in my view, of search,” he said.

Upcoming Google products

At the keynotes, Hugo Barra, Google product management director, displayed Android’s “Voice Actions,” which allows for voice-dictated text messages, web searches and music controls.

He showed the mobile version of Google Translate, which allowed users to type or speak phrases which could be translated into one of 50 languages.

Google TV was also talked about, which will come with Google TV Marketplace in the US.  It will be released in Europe in October 2011, with Sony as the official launch partner.