What happened to smart homes, Glass and robots at Google I/O?

What was absent was notable from Google's developers conference

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"What surprised me the most was that Google didn't lay out their intentions or offer any developer details on home automation," said Moorhead. "They didn't spell out how hardware or software manufacturers can play in Google's sandbox and make money off this. With Apple recently rolling out HomeKit, Google needs to provide clarity."

Robotics also was absent from Google's keynote, which was conspicuous after the company bought at least eight robotics companies, including well-known Boston Dynamics, over the last year or so.

Perhaps even more noteworthy in its absence was any mention of Google+ , the company's social network.

Google+, which will mark its third anniversary later this week, was not mentioned at all during the keynote, and none of the developer sessions focuses on it. There simply may be a lack of exciting things to say about Google+.

The social network, which has about 300 million active monthly users as of last October, has been in the shadow of Facebook and its more than 1 billion users, taking some criticism for not catching up to its competitor. Google+ also lost Vic Gundotra, the head of Google+ and also its popular evangelist.

Dave Besbris, the new leader of Google+, did not take the stage to introduce himself to the approximately 6,000 developers in the audience.

"By not mentioning Google+ in the main keynote, it indicates they are trying to downplay it," Moorhead said.

Hammond suggested that Besbris may still be getting up to speed as the head of Google+ and it might have been too soon for him to make a major appearance.

"Maybe there's a little of 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' going on," he added. "Maybe they're in refactoring mode. Maybe they've learned their lesson and they've decided to go long with this. Microsoft had to do three versions of Windows before they got it right. The question is if [Google] has the discipline and commitment to get it right over the long haul."

This article, What happened to smart homes, Glass and robots at Google I/O?, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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