In a world where many of our best minds are tasked with how to sell financial deregulation to Capital Hill and other under-handed Wall Street conundrums, it often seems like the futuristic world of flying cars and robot servants depicted in science fiction for the last half century will always remain just that…fiction.
But somewhere hidden in the San Francisco Bay area is a clandestine lab so top secret, so technologically advanced, that one cannot even fathom the futuristic delights hidden inside…or Google is simply inventing a longer lasting light bulb, who knows.
In a report issued by the New York Times, Google is rumoured to have established a highly secretive think tank in or around San Francisco, dubbed Google X, a place so secret that most Google employees didn’t know it existed until the NY Times report. So what’s hidden within the walls of Google’s futuristic laboratory? While the details remain a closely guarded secret, imagine a place where some of the greatest technological minds of our generation are asked to shoot for the stars, to dream big, and to conceptualize our technological future.
Piecing together just some of the rumours we’ve been hearing out of Google over the past few months, and it’s not hard to imagine the sorts of things happening at a site no secret that it’s been, for lack of a better name, dubbed Google X.
It’s a place where an Android powered refrigerator realizes that you’ve removed the last coveted can of Coke to help burn the midnight oil, and quickly orders some more; or where robotic cars shuttle people around from A to B, without worry of traffic jams or accidents; or where Google simply rules the world (it is a place where Google employees think big after all).
Or perhaps Google X is a place where the name Android takes on a more literal embodiment; where Asimov-esque robot butlers lay out your clothes and complete all those menial tasks that you couldn’t be bothered with, or a place where the first Roald Dahl-esque elevator to space is finally created.
While some of this seems far-fetched, the NYT report claims that all of these are among some 100 projects currently being undertaken at the top secret R&D site. In fact, the latter space elevator, which may seem like the most outlandish of all the ideas, is a project close to the heart of Google’s brain trust, developing the world’s first rocket-less cable connection with space, allowing information to be collected and various space related equipment to be transported without the need for conventional space vehicles.
Despite the fact that all of this remains rumours and conjecture, its good to know that there are companies out there interested in advancing the human race, committed to exploring the bounds of human ingenuity and imagination, and dedicated to making the technological future long confined to science fiction a reality for all of us…and then no doubt exploit its control over our lives for financial gain.