How Google Is Taking Over Our Lives
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Call it innovation. Call it the tech evolution. Or the Internet of Things. Call it awesome. Or convenient. Some people call it kinda creepy.
Google is taking over our lives.
It's not anything terribly surprising. But maybe it is. Once you think about all those gloriously nerdy "moonshots" from Google and how the tech is permeating every facet of our lives, well, it adds up.
With Google's I/O developers conference this week, we have another handful of gadgets and services that sync up and make our lives so much easier. (And monitored and recorded and and potentially shared with the government, etc.).
Here's a list of Google products that illustrate what I'm getting at. Some examples (Nest, Dropcam) might outrightly bother some people more than others. Let's start with the new additions first and work our way backwards:
Nest: Google recently acquired this smart thermostat startup. Nest helps people monitor and control the temperature in their homes -- with an eye on energy savings. It gives Google a foot into technology that makes our homes smarter.
Dropcam: On behalf of Nest, Google recently purchased home-monitoring startup Dropcam. Now, Google will help you watch yourself and your friends and your family and your colleagues -- in your home or your office or wherever else you might want to install a surviellance camera.
Google Fit: Announced at I/O yesterday, this is a new suite of health-related apps for tracking fitness goals. Like other popular services, Google Fit will track every move you make and every breath you take. Well, almost.
Android Auto: Take everything you love about your Android smartphone with you in your car. Sync up with Android Auto control navigation, communication, music, etc. directly from your car's touch screen interface.
Driverless cars: Ha! Who needs navigation when Google's cars will (someday) drive themselves!
Google satellites: The tech giant is going to invest at least $1 billion in its efforts to launch a fleet of 180 satellites into near-space in order to bring Internet connectivity to parts of the world that aren’t currently wired. Look up. Google's watching.
Android TV (and Chromecast): Android TV will run on set-top boxes akin to Apple TV and Roku. Like Chromecast, which has been out for months, it can be controlled from Google’s new line of wearables and mobile devices. Your viewing habits? Yep, Google's got 'em.
Android Wear: This is Google's operating system for wearable devices. Thought getting all these updates on your phone was good enough? Psssh.
Google Glass: The dorkiest of wearable devices. The idea, though, is that information should be presneted directly in your field of vision. Can Google track what you're looking at? That's TBD. Can you enrage others by unknowingly recording their private moments. The answer is yes.
Google Search: This came first. Google knows everything we search for online. "Google" is essentially a verb.
Chrome: If you use Google Chrome -- and, yes, many of us do -- then Google can track your every move online.
Gmail: Yep, Google looks at all your emails. Or, it can anyway. And you're creating contact lists as well as calandars of events and appointments. Google says: Thanks for sharing (everything).
Google Drive: You're uploading all your pictures and documents to Google's cloud. Five years ago, did you think you'd be doing that?
Android: Google's open source opertaing system powers mobile devices worldwide. Even a lot of people who own Apple devices wind up using Android phones. This means Google can collect from whever and deliver to you on your phone, wherever you go.
Google Play: This is Google's app marketplace. The World dances to Google's beat.
Google Now: With Google Now, you grant the company permission to read all the types of data you already willingly upload to it via its other products, then send you reminders based on your location, time of day, your habits, etc. Convenient? Sure. Kind of creepy? Definitely.