Google gave us a peek at what it’s got in its secret Google X labs when it released information on the augmented reality glasses it’s been working on under the name Project Glass. But Google’s labs have been a subject of interest for months, since news about the secret ideas laboratory came out in the New York Times last November.
So what else is Google rumored to have on tap at its clandestine research facility?
One idea that’s been written about quite a bit is the self-driving car, which got a lot of press recently when Google released a video of a blind man taking the car to the local Taco Bell. The cars run using laser range finders and video cameras to navigate on the road, according to a report from The Post’s Dominic Basulto. The cars are meant to lower emissions, eliminate congestion and save the lives of those who might have otherwise died in car crashes caused by human error.
Another project from Google X takes a high-level — really high level — view of the problem of expensive space travel: the space elevator. This idea has been a sci-fi staple for decades, but the basic premise is that someday we’ll be able to hop into an elevator on the ground here on Earth and ride it all the way up to the Earth’s orbit or into outer space.
There are, as you might imagine, a few problems with this concept. For one, there’s the logisitics of anchoring the top elevator. There’s also the problem of space junk, of getting the elevator to play nice with Earth’s orbit and, of course, the cost.
Other ideas rumored to be a part of Google Labs at least sound a little more readily acheiveable: Internet-connected refrigerators, dinner plates that collect information about what you’re eating and robots that act as avatars for workers.
All in all, Google is said to be working on some pretty crazy projects, though it’s anyone’s guess how many of them will reach the same stage as Google glasses, and how many will actually end up in the homes of the average consumer.
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