Google on Tuesday said it's canceling I/O, the search giant's annual developer conference and Google's biggest event of the year. The company said it was calling off the gathering due to concerns over the novel coronavirus that has caused worldwide disruption.
The company said it's canceling the physical portion of the event, which was set to be take place on May 12-14 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, a short walk from the company's global headquarters. Attendees will get a full refund, the company said in an email.
"Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre," a Google spokesman said in a statement. "Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with and continue to build our developer community. We'll continue to update the Google I/O website."
Google I/O, which last year drew more than 7,000 attendees, is the company's most important gathering each year. CEO Sundar Pichai's keynote speech is akin to the company's State of the Union address, where he talks about the company's current efforts and priorities. Over the past few years, Google has made its biggest announcements at the show, including the introduction of the Google Assistant, Google Home smart speaker and Google Glass eyewear. The company announced the smart eyewear in 2012 with an over-the-top skydiving exhibition in the skies over San Francisco.
More on the coronavirus
- Coronavirus and COVID-19: All your questions answered
- Coronavirus jolts tech firms
- Stop buying face masks to protect against coronavirus, says US surgeon general
- The best thermometers for cold and flu
The cancellation follows a slew of scrubbed events across the tech industry. Facebook last week announced it has canceled F8, the social network's biggest event of the year, because of coronavirus concerns. Instead, Facebook will hold smaller local and livestreamed events. The Game Developers Conference, the video game confab that was scheduled for later this month in San Francisco, has been postponed. Mobile World Congress, the massive mobile-phone conference annually held in Barcelona, was also canceled late last month.
Google has altered its plans with other events too. On Monday, the company said it's making its annual Cloud Next conference, which drew 30,000 attendees last year, a digital-only event because of coronavirus concerns. And last week the company said it's canceling its Google News Initiative Summit, a smaller conference that would have gathered together hundreds of people across the media industry.
Comments Tech Industry Alphabet Inc. Notification on Notification off Google