Google loves experiments, and has a cabinet full of failed projects to prove it.
To encourage developers to come up with weird and wonderful new ideas, the Mountain View company launched a call for Android experiments back in March. After receiving an “overwhelming response” from all over the world, Google has now concluded this “celebration of creativity and code” by announcing the winners of its first Android Experiments I/O Challenge.
The three top winners get to attend Google I/O later this week and the five runner-ups will receive a Nexus 6P. The well-deserved prizes went to the developers who imagined open source projects that pushed the most the boundaries of what Android is capable of.
Al Bencomo from San Jose, CA built an autonomous robot car that can recognize, track and follow objects of a certain color. The project uses a Nexus 5X coupled with an IOIO board via Bluetooth, along some infrared sensors, the OpenCV library, and Android SDK 23.
Mile Roelens from Toronto, Canada showed that cool games can live anywhere, even in the Android notification drawer. The goal of Hungermoji is to swipe away notifications displaying the bomb emoji and keep everything else. It sounds deceptively simple, but that’s the secret of a great game, isn’t it?
Hatem Shahabri and Yury Sachnovskiy from Nesher, Israel came up with a very cool API that turns a phone into a 3D controller for Chromecast apps. Apps that use the API can be controlled with a quick flick of your phone.
Google highlighted five other cool projects that show that Android is nowhere near its peak when it comes to creative ways it can enhance our lives. Check them out here and let us know which one is your favorite!