Google I/O, the company’s developer conference held each year, after a decade in San Francisco is moving to Mountain View, CA.

Google I/O
Google I/O

Google I/O – Why the change of venue?

This year will see Google I/O leaving downtown San Francisco’s Moscone Center where it has been held since 2008 and will now be held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California on May 18-20.

But why the change? Firstly, CEO Sundar Pichai, didn’t elaborate on the conference or why the venue has changed so the Internet is essentially just speculation today and me with it.

What was said was this:

“Exciting news: we’re only 18 weeks away from Google I/O!” Pichai announced on Google+ yesterday.

“2016 is going to be a special year for us — we held our first developer day 10 years ago at the Googleplex. To celebrate our 10th anniversary of developer gatherings, we’ll be hosting I/O in our backyard at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA from May 18th – 20th. We’ll have three full days together to dive deep into developer content, code labs, and more.”

This year IS the tenth anniversary of Google I/O but it’s the first year that GOOG has been restructured under the umbrella company Alphabet. Could it simply be a matter of wanting to mark this change?

But since we are speculating, I’m going to go with Google needs more space than downtown San Francisco can provide. The Shoreline Amphitheater in addition to having room for around 20,000 visitors has a massive parking lot. We’ve known for years that GOOG has been extensively testing its fleet of self-driving cars, will this year’s Google I/O demo this project?

Could it be that drones will be featured or perhaps Google’s Project Loon, the plan to use balloons to provide the world with Internet they would otherwise not have? It’s doubtful that there is enough room to launch its Google Energy Kite, but it is a strange choice of venue as there is nearly no public transportation to the venue and attendees will be forced to drive or carpool. Certainly, GOOG has a fleet of buses that it provides for its employees living in San Francisco and elsewhere but 20,000 in buses is hardly realistic.

What will we see at Google I/O?

Generally speaking the developer conference involves a keynote address on opening day which Google uses to unveil new services and products on stage. In the days that follow, developers are broken into groups and put in classrooms where GOOG employees teach them about their new offerings.

It’s likely Android N will be shown, a hybrid of its Android and Chrome operating systems.

Will Google once again look to produce its own smartphones or tablets?

Whatever Google has planned will surely be kept under wraps until the conference but a surprise of two in the parking lot might end up being the big news.

It is the tenth anniversary

It has to be the self-driving car. San Francisco is so convenient for the tens of thousands expected to be in attendance while Mountain View just isn’t.

Some are thinking that GOOG, who has recently created a virtual reality division to take on Facebook’s Oculus, but that doesn’t explain a need for a larger venue.

The amphitheater is adjacent to the GooglePlex so perhaps GOOG need the space to show off its promised work on drones?