|Google Build Out|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Wednesday, 29 November 2017|
Google has launched a YouTube series where engineers demonstrate how to combine mobile, cloud, and web technologies - so long as they're from Google.
The series is called Build Out, and it's described as being where real engineers face-off building fake products.
The Google engineers, Reto Meier and Colt McAnlis, will present competing architectures in a project every month showing how:
"Google's developer products can be combined to solve challenging problems for your users."
The solutions do use a number of technologies, including Google Cloud, Android, Firebase, and Tensorflow, but you may notice something of a theme about just who makes the technologies. The presenters say that each solution will go well past minimum viable product, and explore some of the more advanced possibilities available to solve the problem creatively.
The channel has had a mixed reaction, with many people pointing out that there's little actual coding and far too much touting of Google products. However, the presenters are encouraging people to not only say which of them solved the problem better, but also to post comments or videos about better solutions.
The first episode involves designs for gardens that care for themselves. The remit is that each design must be fully autonomous, learn from experience, and scale from backyard up to large-scale commercial gardens:
The designs include the use of sensors, weather forecasts, and machine learning to work out how to manage watering and fertilizing routines for the plants in the gardens.Where things get well away from reality is the inclusion not just of either a Raspberry Pi or and ESP32 microprocessor, but an Android Things hub to connect the garden care devices to the cloud, along with a cloud server component built around an App Engine Flexible environment that processes camera and sensor results, and determines the appropriate changes to the plant care instructions. The machine learning element was built around TensorFlow models to analyze camera images and optimize plant-care instructions. It's actually all quite interesting, so long as you remember this is a long advert rather than a real discussion of alternative choices.
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