Google House – Chef Kunal ,Daboo & others


Almost two decade ago the founders of Google , Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University and built a search engine (initially called BackRub) that used links to determine the importance of individual webpages in a year’s time.


And today I was lucky to be part of the “Google House” — a showcase of the latest product innovations for India’s ‘mobile first’ world by Google, organised at premier hotel property,Leela Place.


Hosted by Sandeep Menon, Google Country Marketing Director, the event showcased the Google’s Search, Maps, Photos, Translate and YouTube apps.


The celebrity chef Kunal Kapur, fashion photographer Dabboo Ratnani, YouTube comedic sensation Kanan Gill and emerging photographer Anushka Menon too joined the event and discussed how Google’s mobile products have made their daily lives far more easier.


The fabulous mobile focused demonstrations at the Google house included

  • A hands-on showcase of the new instant translation feature in Google Translate. Good news is that it has been recently launched in Hindi and its instant translate helps you break through language barriers by instantly translating printed text, like street signs or ingredient lists by opening the app on your phone and pointing your camera at the text.Truly amazing technological offering indeed.
  • I had a closer  look at the new Google Photos app which automatically backs up photos and videos across all your devices.As per Google, with people around the world uploading 1.8 billion photos every day, taking 93 million selfies and more photos being taken every two minutes than the whole of humanity took in the 1800s, it’s just as well that Google Photo offers unlimited, free storage for its customers.
  • There wad also an overview of recent Search innovations like faster and lighter search results for people accessing the web from a mobile device with a slow connection like 2G. Voice Search updates to the Google app which has been optimized for English in the Indian accent and in Hindi to make finding answers to your questions faster, easier and more local. As well as some of the latest Google Now updates, which bring you information when and where you want it, before you even have to ask — like a personal assistant.
  • Most of us already know the recent offline features, like the ability to save Maps for times when you might not have a connection. Or YouTube Offline, which gives you a way to watch videos without chewing through all your data — even when you don’t have a connection.

IMG_6805The whole event was very exciting but the for me the show stopper was none other than celebrated chef Kunal Kapur. Truly gentlemen Chef and very down to earth person , I had discussion with him om various topics including Google’s offering and MasterChef India.

Commenting on his use of Google Search, he said “I travel the world meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and of course, searching for new ingredients and culinary experiences. Sometimes when I travel I don’t even know the name of the ingredients I see in the local markets and Google Image search helps me find out what it is exactly. Another great feature is the abundance of recipes online. I still remember days when I looked through my grandma’s book of recipes. Today, all I do is search online and find a treasure trove of so many recipes sent in by users from their families. And I use Google Now to keep everything organized. It has become my constant companion and has made managing a multi time-zone life much easier while Google Photos helps me archive and share my experiences instantly.”


For celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani, Bollywood is where home is and photography a way of life.  “While photography is a way of life for me, what’s also important is making sure my clientele has easy and early access to the photos I take of them. I’m always on the move so it is important for me to have access to a good photo editor and for me to be able to search through and find a particular photo shoot quickly enough. Google Photos has both of these features easily available to access in terms of a great editor and the cool new Assistant feature. These have become my favorites today!”

In the words of Sandeep Menon, Google Country Marketing Director  “Indians are coming online from mobile devices at an incredibly rapid rate — six to seven million new mobile internet users every month. Today’s event is about showcasing how we’re working to make our products relevant and useful for India, and how smartphones have evolved to become the best personal assistant you’ve never had. Whether you need to get directions 10 minutes before your next meeting, a step by step recipe to make an impression, or a way to never be late to the airport again, Google can help keep you connected to the people and information that you care about.”

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