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The Android Developer Sandbox is the place to be if you want to see the hottest Android-based projects. Here's what we liked.
Sandboxes Aren't Just for Kids
Google I/O is one of the funnest developer conferences, and the Android Developer Sandbox is the place to be to see the hottest Android-based projects.
Sure, the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) are the big news at the conference, but Google I/O is also a place for Android developers to show off what they’ve been working on. Google also demoed some of its newly announced products alongside the Developer Sandbox.
Here are some of the coolest apps, sites and products we’ve seen at I/O so far.
Google Glass Up Close
Google product managers were cruising around the show floor wearing Google’s very cool wearable technology, Google Glass. The augmented reality glasses were shown off in a big way at today’s keynote complete with skydiving, BMX biking and building jumping.
Google will start shipping a U.S.-only developer version of Google Glass early next year for $1500.
A Giant Nexus Q
The centerpiece of the Android floor is a giant, light-up version of the Nexus Q. The Nexus Q is the smartphone and tablet-compatible media streamer Google announced Wednesday.
Nexus 7 Controllers
Attendees can control how the Nexus Q orb moves and lights up via Nexus 7 tablets, which were also announced today. Google I/O is certainly like no other developer conference out there--and there’s much more to come.
Cubify 3D Printer
These Cubify printers were lined up along the wall of the Developer Sandbox, spitting out 3D objects for Google I/O attendees.
Cubify is a 3D printer meant for the everyday consumer. The company is opening up its API, allowing developers to create 3D content from their own apps.
You’ve probably already heard about the Pebble SmartWatch, which booked more than 85,000 preorders on Kickstarter in just one month.
The customizable, Bluetooth-enabled watch can connect to both Android phones and the iPhone. It features a 144-by-168 1-bit display, an accelerometer and a Cortex-M3 ARM microprocessor.
Pebble Wednesday announced the availability of its Android SDK so developers can start building apps for the watch.
PowerA Moga Controller
Hooray for more Android gaming innovation! Moga is an all-in-one gaming system for Android. The controller has dual analog sticks and a traditional console button layout for gaming. You can insert your Android phone into the controller with a flip-out arm with non-slip pads, then use the controls to play the game on your phone.
It can accommodate even the largest of smartphones; in the photo you’ll notice that a Galaxy Note with a case on it is attached to the controller. You can also connect it wirelessly via Bluetooth if you wish to use it with a tablet.
Recon Instruments and Active Network Ski Mask
Android-powered ski goggles? Why not! The Recon Instruments ski goggles look and feel like any other ski goggles on the market, except that they’ll show you navigational information, a weather report, ski lift availability and personal statistics. The goggles use the Active Network’s RTP LivePass and RTP REALX platforms to bring this information to tech-savvy skiers.
Recon said that it plans to add motorcycle goggles as well as “endurance goggles” for runners and bikers. Note that these ski goggles don’t have anything to do with Google Glass--that’s an entirely separate product.
RT Corporation Dancing Robot
Unfortunately, the product managers over at the RT Corporation’s booth didn’t speak very much English, but the Japanese company’s Android-controlled robot was a delight to see.
Sphero is a whole new way to play Android games. It’s a robotic ball that you can control from your smartphone or tablet.
The Sphero developers had an obstacle course set up to demo how it worked. Using a phone, the company reps navigated the Sphero balls over ramps and weaved them through miniature cones.
The Sphero can also be used as a game controller for on-screen games.