In my yesterday’s article, I told you about a failed product from Google called “Google X”. But that was way back in 2005. Now Google has another “Google X” that is making news all over the world.
For the first time, Google has admitted the existence of a super secret research lab which they refer to as Google X. Existence of such a facility was long being suspected by the industry watchers. However, Google has been guarding this secret with utmost diligence. Most of the Google employees don't even know about the existence of any such lab. Only a handful of people know about it. This facility is run with CIA-like secrecy. This is perhaps done not only to guard intellectual property but also to keep it secret from shareholders who might think that their money is being wasted on crazy ideas.
When Larry Page had become CEO of Google –Sergey Brin, the other co-founder, was appointed the “Head of Special Projects”. No wonder that the Google X is headed by Sergey Brin himself. Larry Page and the current Google CEO Eric Schmidt are also involved with Google X research. No one still knows where exactly this lab is located but it is suspected to be inside the Googleplex –the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.
So, what happens inside Google X?
Well, it's a million (and probably billion) dollar questions! Google X is purely a research facility where most of the staff members are robotics engineers (along with just a few software engineers). They have a list of about 100 dream projects which almost seem impossible at present. Sample a few:
- Space elevators
- Internet of “things” like refrigerators, ovens and other electronic items
- Refrigerators that can order stuff when they run low of stored items
- Dining plates that can connect to social networks
Projects like space elevator are still far from seeing even an iota of reality but there are some more visible projects which could have originated from Google X research facility:
- Robotic avatars
- Self-driving cars
- Gigabit Ethernet connection
- Aerial Wi-Fi
Google X is aimed at investigating the possibility of making these “shoot-for-the-stars” ideas work. Google spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker stated that, “While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, please do keep in mind that the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses.”
Now it is no longer a secret that Google has long been testing self-driving cars. This is the only Google X project that has vividly come in the view of the world. Google has famously been allowing its engineers to give their “20 percent time” to more experimental projects of their liking. Various Google products have been the results of this “20 percent time”. Although, in last couple of years, Google has done away with a number of experimental projects –but the concept of “20 percent time” is still surviving. This concept could be fueling what happens inside Google X.
We can only make our wild guess what Google folks do inside their super-secret lab called X. We can only wait until something jaw-dropping comes out of the gates of Google X.