Google X: The top-secret laboratory is revealed

The existence of Google X was revealed by the New York Times in a feature they wrote yesterday - detailing a place where engineers were working on the next generation of Google products, and taking a walk on the wilder side of technological innovation.

Information was gathered about the undisclosed Bay Area located secret lab through a dozen interview with people who work at the lab or elsewhere at Google.  The team consists of hirees from various major technology companies and universities: MIT, Microsoft and Nokia Labs being merely three of the myriad of institutions named.  Some knew about the existence of it, whereas other internal employees had no idea of Google X, futher portraying the utmost secrecy of the projects.  One engineer even likened the covert ideology of the department to the CIA, where the two teams (split between the Mountain View campus and the aforementioned top-secret location in Bay Area) are "tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas."

"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."

Other projects purportedly in the works are the further development of the driverless car shown at TEDconference in Long Beach earlier this year, a whole new slew of connected devices including plant pots & light bulbs, and a deep exploration into robotics.  Google's co-founder Sergey Brin is said to be involved closely with the team, taking the core search business far off the beaten path it's trodden since inception.  All of this fits very tidily into the company policy of spending 20% of employee time on their own projects (coincidentally, this is where Google Reader and Gmail were born).  

"They're pretty far out in front right now. But Google's not an ordinary company, so almost nothing applies." MIT professor Rodney Brooks comments.  We're moving towards a dark bright future of skynet robotics.  Got to admit, pretty excited in a really geeky way about how insane-yet-awesome these ideas sound.

Source: The New York Times

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