4 Futuristic Google Projects To Look Out For

Posted by jun auza On 7/13/2012
Google, which started as a humble search engine, has now become an integral part of our life. Its flagship services such as Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Maps, Docs, and of course search make up a significant part of our daily web browsing experience. Then of course there is our beloved Android, which covers almost half of the U.S. smartphone market. In short, without Google, technology wouldn't be the same as it is now.

Yet, despite all those accomplishments, Google is not only improving its existing technologies, it is also coming up with new ones. Of those new inventions, most of them are related to smartphones and tablet computers. However, little do many people know that Google is also working (secretly of course) on some amazing futuristic projects that might change the world in the very near future.

If you too, like us, are excited to find out what some of Google’s futuristic inventions are, then read on as we cover the most exciting ones that you need to watch out for.

Project Glass

One of the most talked-about projects announced this year is Project Glass. These futuristic Terminator-style goggles give you an augmented reality Head-Mounted Display (HMD). The glasses will have the capability to notify you of any upcoming appointments, give you directions, and even allow you to make and receive video calls.

Showcased at Google I/O recently, this product has drawn a lot of attention from users as well as tech enthusiasts. Running on Android, Project glass will also let you talk to your gadget using natural language commands almost like you do with Siri. The ambitious project is not available to consumers yet; however, reports have suggested that the futuristic goggles will be available to public by early 2013 and would cost nearly as much as smartphones.

Having said that, it’s not as if everyone’s happy about the arrival of Google Glass. Privacy advocates and concerned users have suggested that the project might give Google yet another window to invade into our daily lives. Others fear that Google might insert advertising into your gadget thereby ruining the whole experience. You may also read our previous post about Google Glass.

Google Driverless Car

Google Driverless Car is another ambitious project by Google that makes the futuristic vision of self-driven cars a reality. The technology behind the project is quite interesting. Data is gathered from Google Street View with state-of-the-art AI software. Then, the input from video cameras inside the car and the input from various sensors fitted in and around the vehicle are combined by the AI for accurate navigation.

Though a self-driving car sounds scary at first, rest assured that Google has successfully test-driven the car covering almost 1609 km without any human intervention. The vehicle has been driven over the Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Coast Highway, and many other places. Though still in testing, there’s no announcement from Google as to when this project will be available for consumers. Also, there are a significant amount of difficulties in bringing this dream to reality, as many of the current traffic laws would need to be changed to allow the Google driverless car on the road.

Machine Learning

If you sift through thousands of YouTube clips, there’s very little doubt that you would be able to spot a cat in every video that comes along. But what if computers could spot a cat in a YouTube video without the help of any human? Well, that’s what Google’s been busy doing. Researchers at Google’s X Lab, which is Google’s clandestine lab for all futuristic projects, have built a network of 16,000 processors in order to emulate the capabilities of the human brain. The computer probed through 10 million YouTube clips and successfully identified, well, cats. The point of the whole exercise was not to point out cats, but rather to demonstrate the immense power that computers possess these days. Imagine just searching for all the videos on YouTube where Tux (mascot of Linux) appears? Well, that would be a treat for penguin fanboys like us, wouldn't it? Hurry up Google!

Space Elevator

Well, as far-fetched as it sounds, Google is actually planning to put some effort into this adventurous endeavor. Though nothing much is known about this project, don’t forget to tell us if you take a trip to the moon with your great-grandchildren Googling everything along the way.

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