Google X, stylized as Google[x], is a secret facility run by Google located about a half mile from the corporate headquarters Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Work at the lab is overseen by Sergey Brin, one of Google's co-founders.
Reportedly worked on at the lab is a list of 100 projects pertaining to future technologies such as a self-driving car, augmented reality glasses, internet service via balloons in the stratosphere, a neural network that uses semi-supervised learning, enabling speech recognition and extraction of objects from video - for instance detecting if a cat is in a frame of video, and the Web of Things.
A reporter from Bloomberg Businessweek visited the site in 2013 and described it as "ordinary two-story red-brick buildings about a half-mile from Google’s main campus. There’s a burbling fountain out front and rows of company-issued bikes, which employees use to shuttle to the main campus."
While Google X projects are often referred to as "moonshots" within the company, not all so-described moonshots are part of Google X. For example, Calico, Google's life extension project, is considered a moonshot but is not a part of Google X. The same is true of Google's project to build robots for businesses.
In October 2013, the existence of four Google barges was revealed, with the vessels registered under the dummy corporation By And Large. Two of the barges have a superstructure whose construction has been kept under the utmost secrecy, while speculations indicate they could be used as marketing for, and stores for, Google Glass.
Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD). The intended purpose of Project Glass products would be the hands-free displaying of information currently available to most smartphone users, and allowing for interaction with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
Google driverless car
The Google driverless car is a project by Google that involves developing technology for driverless cars. The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View. Thrun's team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prize from the United States Department of Defense. The team developing the system consisted of 15 engineers working for Google, including Chris Urmson, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Levandowski who had worked on the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.
The U.S. state of Nevada passed a law in June 2011 concerning the operation of driverless cars in Nevada. Google had been lobbying for driverless car laws. The license was issued to a Toyota Prius modified with Google's experimental driver-less technology. In August 2012, the team announced that they have completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles accident-free, typically have about a dozen cars on the road at any given time, and are starting to test them with single drivers instead of in pairs.
Project Loon is a project that aims to bring internet access to everyone by creating an internet network of balloons flying through the stratosphere.
- "Introduction to Project Glass". Google+: Project Glass. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2013. ""A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology…""
- Stone, Brad (2013-05-22). "Inside Google's Secret Lab". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
- Cain Miller, Claire; Bilton, Nick (November 13, 2011). "Google’s Lab of Wildest Dreams". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Ante, Spencer (11 September 2012). "Hype and Hope: Test Driving Google's New Glasses". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Lardinois, Frederic (14 June 2013). "Google X Announces Project Loon: Balloon-Powered Internet For Rural, Remote And Underserved Areas". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Markoff, John (June 25, 2012). "How Many Computers to Identify a Cat? 16,000". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Stone, Brad (22 May 2013). "Inside Google's Secret Lab". Businessweek. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Adhikari, Richard (14 November 2011). "Google Dabbles in Dream Tech in Hush-Hush X Lab". TechNewsWorld. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Agha, Miles (November 14, 2011). "Top-secret Google X lab rethinks the future". Computerworld. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Burgess, Rick (November 14, 2011). "Secret "Google X" lab reimagines our future". TechSpot. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Moore, Alex. "Google X Labs: With Steve Jobs Gone, Could Google Take the Torch in Inventing the Future?". Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Bryant, Martin (12 March 2013). "Google X Lab will reveal another ‘moonshot’ next month – but it’s not working on a space elevator". The Next Web. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "At Google X, a Top-Secret Lab Dreaming Up the Future". The New York Times. 2011-11-13.
- "Google acquires kite-power generator". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Harry McCracken; Lev Grossman (18 September 2013). "Google vs. Death". Time. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Markoff, John (4 December 2013). "Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Casey Newton. "Google plans to dock mystery barge at former Army post in San Francisco". The Verge.
- Goldman, David (4 April 2012). "Google unveils 'Project Glass' virtual-reality glasses". Money (CNN).
- Albanesius, Chloe (4 April 2012). "Google 'Project Glass' Replaces the Smartphone With Glasses". PC Magazine.
- Newman, Jared (4 April 2012). "Google's 'Project Glass' Teases Augmented Reality Glasses". PCWorld.
- John Markoff (2010-10-09). "Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- Sebastian Thrun (2010-10-09). "What we're driving at". The Official Google Blog. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- "Nevada enacts law authorizing autonomous (driverless) vehicles". Green Car Congress. 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- Alex Knapp (2011-06-22). "Nevada Passes Law Authorizing Driverless Cars". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- John Markoff (2011-05-10). "Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Mary Slosson (2012-05-08). "Google gets first self-driven car license in Nevada". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- Official Blog: The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 by Chris Urmson, Engineering Lead