Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Business Intelligence More Topics...
Advertisement
Free Gartner Report:
Drive innovation & collaboration
with the "Everyone's IT" approach.

View the research report
Innovation
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Impractical? Absurd? Not for Secret Google X Lab

Impractical? Absurd? Not for Secret Google X Lab
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

A key area of exploration at Google X is the so-called "Web of things," where a limitless variety of objects in the home and office are connected to each other and to the Web, assumedly via the Android operating system. These include coffee pots and other household devices that could be controlled remotely.
 

Related Topics

Google
Research
Microsoft



Driverless cars, Net-connected refrigerators, and dinner plates that track what you eat. These are some of the out-there projects being researched at Google X, a secret R&D lab at the technology giant.

The lab's existence -- which even many Google employees don't know about -- and some of the projects are outlined in a report in Monday's New York Times. The paper said the lab is working on a hundred "shoot-for-the-stars ideas," citing a dozen unnamed people who work at the lab or have knowledge of it. Researchers at Google X hail from Microsoft, Stanford, M.I.T., Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere.

Space Elevators

The lab's exploration into a seemingly limitless number of industries and would-be industries is typical of Google, which long ago emerged from being a search-engine giant to becoming the organizer of the world's information, and now has moved beyond even that lofty goal.

Space elevators, for instance. The concept, where freight is hauled into orbit by a cable anchored between the earth and a space-based platform, is considered to be one of Google X's projects.

Some of the projects are relatively near-term, while many others appear to have no discernible product target. Driverless cars, which use intelligent driving systems, may be on the near-term track, as Google is reportedly investigating the possibility of manufacturing such vehicles in the U.S., or licensing the technology.

In some cases, of course, a key question is whether the product or research is a solution in search of a problem. In the case of driverless cars, Google has said that the technology could address traffic accidents, many of which are caused by driver error or fatigue.

Wired Coffee Pots

Then there are remotely controlled robots, which might attend conferences in place of its human owner, as such a unit did on behalf of Google co-founder Sergey Brin at a gathering of the Singularity University last year.

A key area of exploration at Google X is the so-called "Web of things," where a limitless variety of objects in the home and office are connected to each other and to the Web, assumedly via the Android operating system. These include coffee pots and other household devices that could be controlled remotely.

Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner, noted that Microsoft, among other companies, similarly conducts research that could be considered far afield from its core products -- including health services, wristwatches, children's toys, and concept videos about home energy management.

But, he said, such research can often have unpredictable, but useful, results. "Most of the type of research" that has been reported taking place at Google X, Gartenberg said, "is the type that won't directly yield products, but might yield spinoffs that can be applied to existing products."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Innovation
1.   Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
2.   Samsung Buys SmartThings
3.   BioBattery Tattoo May Power a Phone
4.   Rufus Cuff a Crowd-Funded Success
5.   IBM Chip Design Mimics Human Brain


advertisement
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
New features for Google Explorers.
Average Rating:
Rufus Cuff a Crowd-Funded Success
Hardware projects seek unique funding.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Business Intelligence | Innovation | E-Commerce | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.