It’s a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet, so it could order groceries when they ran low. Your dinner plate could post to a social network what you’re eating. Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas. And you could, perhaps, take an elevator to outer space.
Not surprisingly, no one from Google would speak on the record to the Times about the research and development lab. Google X is kept so under wraps that many Google employees may not even know it exists. It's essentially innovation run wild and likened to the Palo Alto Research Center Inc.(PARC,) a part of Xerox credited for creating the personal computer, laser printer and mouse.
Co-founder Sergey Brin is deeply involved in the lab and works on several projects, including a space elevator which would transport things or people into space via a cable rather than a rocket. He's also been an advocate for Google's driverless cars and sent along a robot, nicknamed the BrinBot, to attend a conference for him.
Google, however, despite confirming nor denying the innovative products is quick to point out that it's not wasting the money of its shareholders. “While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, please do keep in mind that the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses,” she said. (Co-founder Larry Page also said this during a July earnings call, saying its research center was only a small amount of Google's annual budget.)
While we doubt that anyone is surprised that Google has created a lab to make geeky fantasies come true, what's most amazing is the scale of the projects. Robot-controlled cars are one thing, but a space elevator, which would require the approval of nations, if not the world, shows how far the company's big ideas have come.