We may still be in the sleepy midst of a chilly winter, but Google’s developer team is already looking forward to the summer with a teaser for the 2018 edition of its annual I/O developer event, as first spotted by 9to5Google. Should you be savvy enough to crack the (binary) code of the initial tweet, you’ll get the google.com/io URL, and there you’ll be presented with a Google Street View that lets you explore the reception area of what’s apparently a Google Developers building.
All the little hints that Google has scattered throughout that lobby point to the theme of sisters:
- The calendar at the reception is set to August 5th, National Sister’s Day
- The book on the coffee table is called Sister Carrie
- The landscape photo displayed on the TV on the wall looks like the Three Sisters volcanic peaks in Oregon
- There’s what looks like a painting of the Brontë sisters on the opposite wall
After a while, you might want to get past the lobby and through to the next room, and those hints about sisters will be your key.
It’s very much like the escape room puzzles you might find in the real world, except carried out in Street View and tuned perfectly to entice Google’s target audience of geeky problem solvers. The August date is likely just a puzzle prop rather than an actual indication of when Google I/O will take place this year. Google has traditionally hosted I/O in May, and there’s been no indication of that shifting this year. Heck, even the sister theme ultimately seems to break down after you get past the initial puzzle.
But here’s the tastiest thing in among all these teasers:
Pineapple cake. Pineapple upside-down cake, to give it its proper name. At a time when Google is looking for a name for the version of Android that is to follow Oreo. Now this could be a very legit (and very early) revelation of the next Android version’s name. Or it could be just another juicy part of Google’s fiendish tease.
The puzzle was eventually solved with the help of more than 100 Verge readers who banded together in a Discord room. Our prize? The dates for Google I/O: May 8th to the 10th in Mountain View.
Update January 24th, 7:05AM ET: Post updated with news that the riddles were solved.