Google I/O is the annual event for developers at which Google unveils new products. This year's event will last three days and ticket prices are twice as much as before - unless you are a student or academic.
In previous years, tickets for Google I/O have sold like hot cakes and after last year's event Google decided to make it more exclusive, even suggesting last November that you might have to prove your ability to code in order to attend.
Today the Google I/O 2012 site has gone live and it seems that the mechanism to reduce demand for places is going to be to increase the ticket price to $900 USD and organize "free viewing parties" across the US and in other locations worldwide.
The 2012 event is longer - 3 days rather than 2 - and runs from June 27th to 29th at the at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. There are no one-day passes and no discounts apart from a limited number of tickets at $300 for Academia (students, professors, faculty/staff) for which proof of status will be required. You have to be 16 or older to attend and under 18s need signed parental consent.
Tickets go on sale at 07.00 PST on March 27th and in order to purchase then you will have to make payment using Google Wallet and a Google+ identity.
Google anticipates a live audience of around 5,500 people but if you can't attend in person the website has the prospect of I/O Extended, free events focused on live streaming parts of Google I/O at which developers will be able to connect with each other. Details of locations are "coming soon" but you can register your interest now if you want to attend or organize one.
You'll also be able to follow the event live from the comfort of your own home or office with I/O Live.
In previous years Google has given away various goodies to offset the cost of attending. Last year the two star items were a Galaxy Tab, a Chrome Notebook and a 4G LTE hotspot given to every attendee. This sort of give away must figure in the mind of everyone thinking of going to Google IO - will this year's presents make up for the cost? What can Google hand out that is cutting edge and Google related - a Google TV or a Google Wallet?