Alphabet’s Google X is now just X. The longtime home of pipe dreams is getting a new name and new focus as the incubator of Alphabet. In this latest reorganization, X will continue to be headed by the captain of moonshots, Astro Teller. But with this change, we might expect to see more of these unlikely projects become reality. So what cool projects are Google currently working on?
This is the nickname for X’s robotics division, where acquisition Boston Dynamics ended up. It’s predicted this division will enterprise with major manufacturers and businesses, rather than consumers, but if you’re after a taste of what it’s all about, check out this holiday greeting video.
Amazon’s not the only one thinking drones for delivery. Pilot tested in America, Project Wing is Google’s answer to the transportation of small goods. In case you missed their introductory video from just over a year ago, we found it for you.
There would be no Google without the Internet, and with that in mind, Project Loon aims to deliver connectivity to even the most remote locations - using balloons in the stratosphere. The ‘crazy’ idea is catching on, with telecom partners in Sri Lanka and Indonesia signing on to launch the technology on a mass scale. If all goes well, Loon might just leave the nest.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for this one. Less time driving is more time for everything else. Perhaps soon my Google car will decide for me what latest hot spot to check out.
With this list of science fiction like ideas, you’d be forgiven for thinking that X has never produced a real commercial product. Actually, a few of X’s projects have already been incorporated into Google’s more mainstream businesses. The Google Brain team were deep-learning experts and have long been moved inside the main research team at Google - machine learning is definitely no longer a pipe dream. Project Insight took aim at mapping indoor spaces. Sound familiar? They’re now part of Maps. Used by millions every day, not bad for a moonshot.
Our favourite graduate of X is the technologically awesome Google Glass. Perhaps too ahead of its time to become a commercial success in 2013, we hear it’s getting an enterprise level reboot. It’s no longer an X product, having been moved to the Nest division, but we love it just the same.
Who knows what will come next?