Somewhere in a secret location in California, a team of engineers from Google are busy pushing the limits of technology. Known as Google X, they are the team responsible for ‘Project Glass’, Google’s latest project to combine our optical visual field with Augmented Reality using wearable glasses and Driverless cars.
Google is so secretive about the lab that most of its employees even have no idea of its existence. Reminds of Area 51, anyone?
Rumors about Google X and their crazy experiments had started flying late last year but I ignored them as they sounded very unlikely to exist. Now when Project Glass has made my imagination fly into the future, I think those project rumors are actually true.
The projects on which Google X is working on are still largely unknown to anyone except the people deeply involved in it. According to The NYTimes, there are about 100 concept ideas on which they’re researching that even includes robots, talking refrigerators, dining plates which are connected to the internet, space-elevators etc. Yeah, they all sound very unlikely to happen anytime soon but they’re long term projects of Google. How long? Maybe even 2050!
The X Team
There are three important people in the team mainly known to the world – Sebastian Thrun, Steve Lee, Babak Amir Parviz. The team is leaded by Sergey Brin. They all are known for their special capabilities in fields still largely unexplored by humans.
1. Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin is the co-founder of Google and the leader of Google X. He is known for carrying a silver business card decorated with the letter X. He was recently spotted wearing a prototype unit of AR Glasses in a charitable event in San Francisco, California.
Being the 24th richest person on the earth, he owns a private Boeing 737 jet!
2. Steve Lee
Steve Lee is the lead product management for Google X. He’s the brain behind Google Latitude, a service that lets users share their locations with friends, store history of visited places and check-in to places.
His involvement in Project Glass should mean that location based applications would be one of they key features of the project.
3. Babak Amir Parviz
An assistant professor at University of Washington, Babak Parviz is known for his achievement in deploy bionics technology in conventional contact lenses. Here’s a snippet of an article written by him:
These visions might seem far-fetched, but a contact lens with simple built-in electronics is already within reach; in fact, my students and I are already producing such devices in small numbers in my laboratory at the University of Washington, in Seattle. These lenses don’t give us the vision of an eagle or the benefit of running subtitles on our surroundings yet. But we have built a lens with one LED, which we’ve powered wirelessly with RF. What we’ve done so far barely hints at what will soon be possible with this technology.
Wired notes that Babak Parviz’s research specialties include Bio-nanotechnology, Self-Assembly, Nanofabrication and MicroElectroMechanical Systems, enough to help Google become a pioneer in Optical Vision technology. 😉
4. Sebastian Thrun
Sebastian Thrun is the person behind Google’s another ambitious project of developing driver-less cars which are currently running on the streets of Nevada. The automated cars make use artificial intelligence, several sensors and Google Street View, co-invented by him.
A recent video by Google showing a blind man taking one such car to a local store shows how impressive the car would be in the future.
He has also founded Udacity, a company that aims to bring university level education to the masses for free using the internet. The courses also include Building a Search Engine and Programming a Robotic Car.
These are a few people whose job is very ambitious – to defy the boundaries of Google’s core business – the Web and move ahead to the Future where technology will control our life. Sounds creepy?