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November 14, 2011

Google X

New York Times has an interesting article about Google X, a secret lab where Sergey Brin and other Google employees tackle important projects that aren't yet ready for primetime.
In a top-secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location where robots run free, the future is being imagined. It's a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet, so it could order groceries when they ran low. Your dinner plate could post to a social network what you’re eating. Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas. And you could, perhaps, take an elevator to outer space.

Google X is the place where Google works on the driverless car and New York Times reports that Google is considering manufacturing the cars in the US. Many projects are related to Android @ Home, an initiative announced this year that tries to make everyday objects smarter. "We want to think of every appliance in your home as a potential I/O device," said Google's Joe Britt. Google tries to build the "Web of things" by connecting home accessories, wearable objects to the Internet.

Most of the ideas tackled at Google X involve robots. "Fleets of robots could assist Google with collecting information, replacing the humans that photograph streets for Google Maps, say people with knowledge of Google X. Robots born in the lab could be destined for homes and offices, where they could assist with mundane tasks or allow people to work remotely".

It's interesting to note that one of the Google X projects could be released by the end of the year, although it's not clear what it does. At the I/O conference, Google announced that it will introduce "a Web-connected light bulb that could communicate wirelessly with Android devices," so this might be the product that will be released.

Google has always tried to solve big problems, even if many people think that it should focus on improving search results and ad quality. "Larry and Sergey founded Google because they wanted to help solve really big problems using technology," said Sebastian Thrun, a robotics expert who invented the first self-driving car and now works at Google.

Google X could be the next Xerox PARC or it could fail, but it's important to think big and take risks. "I just feel like people aren't working enough on impactful things. People are really afraid of failure on things, and so it's hard for them to do ambitious stuff. And also, they don't realize the power of technological solutions to things, especially computers," complained Larry Page in Steven Levy's "In the Plex".

Hopefully, MG Siegler is right when he says that "whatever is going on inside of Google X, I'm fairly certain it's filled to the brim with the kind of stuff that made us all fall in love with Google in the first place".

{ Thanks, Venkat. }


  1. too much futuristic, how about how google+ can overtake facebook?

  2. This is probably related to the light bulb idea from google x

  3. Yes I basically agree with Anonymous at 11:23,
    but I think it would be more apt to ask:
    how about paying attention to the dissatisfaction of users with the new design of Google Reader,
    for lack of action on this issue is doing a lot of harm to Google's reputation.

  4. interesting article which rubs your brain to start thinking in a scientific way to explore new ideas. any idea as to how to get in touch with the team to put forward any idea which one feel might be useful for Google ?

  5. Google profiling the contents of my frigde? No, lol thanks. No need for personalized food ads.

  6. To the other anonimi, until those users start producing something, (and no, "click traffic" doesn't count, neither does spending money on consumables) your dissatisfaction doesn't matter one whit. Plenty of people are 'dissatisfied', yeah? So what?

    The Occupy Wall street movement is 'dissatisfied', and what are they getting for their trouble? Pepper spray and batons.
    So keep crying, and making noise, remember to stock up on throat lozenges and wrist support pads, the world doesn't care about you.

    The only people who make a difference in this world are the people who brave the extrememe discomforts of invention and scientific discovery to break through into new levels of abilities.

    It is by those few individuals toil and sacrifice, that you even get to act like an entitled 'consumer'. What you really are, in fact, is nothing more than 'prey' dressed up as faux-power. As a group, web users are too incohesive and disparate, to unify and pose a threat to any company, and any exodus which might occur will simply be a "second mortgage" on the problems the users themselves wish to ignore.

    So whine about page rank, and Facebook. How much did Facebook care about your preferences before last summer's Google+ launch? You were nothing but little 'ants' to Facebook, and they will ultimately decline as all companies do, indeed all things do, so really, they're just along for the ride on YOUR time. Conversely, you're also along for the free-ride on Google's time and Google seems to be a bunch of scientists first, and business people second. It's refreshing frankly, after the horrors we've seen (In the last decade) of purely profit driven business tactics.

    So keep complaining. Keep whining about your "ants eye view", there are other creatures in the world and frankly "ants aren't the rulers of the planet". Smarter people than you, are busy making the world a better place to live.

  7. google giving many people inspiration because of its secret, and its secret is the key of its inspiration....

  8. Google is amazing and never stands still

  9. The driver less car is very futuristic and will grab peoples attention

  10. Cars - it's good. Maps - wonderful.
    But I think Sergey Brin and Google board can already thinking about the victory over old age and death from old age. Since their parents are still alive, but old.
    There is a theory of aging, which explains that our aging is the result of misunderstanding of this natural phenomenon. Aging is optional. Organism can rejuvenate its old body, as it treats his illness, if to help an organism. The theory is easy to check. Physical immortality of the human body is possible. Who was an old, will be young!
    This can be done today rather than wait for decades.

  11. It's fun to see how a NYT article car get so much attention, while the same news from Business Insider last month has hit the Web without a wave…

  12. Haha Ilike this Much


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