Google X is reportedly developing seamless wall-sized screens using modular display tech

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the latest product under development at Google’s experimental Google X division are “giant TVs” made up of many smaller displays pieced together to create one seamless screen:

Google’s secretive advanced-projects lab is developing a display composed of smaller screens that plug together like Legos to create a seamless image, according to three people familiar with the project.

The various modular pieces that make up the display, according to the report, would allow for the ability to create large screens of varying sizes and shapes. WSJ notes that head of the Google X display division Mary Lou Jepsen, who previously founded various startups specializing in display technologies, is leading the project. Read more

Google X old hat, thinks Larry Page – proposes Google Y for even bigger challenges

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You might think Google’s ‘moonshot’ lab, Google X, is pretty out there, with autonomous cars, smart contact lenses and balloon-served Internet. But co-founder Larry Page seemingly thinks the company needs to look even further ahead: The Information (paywall) reports that he has proposed a second lab, Google Y, to look at even bigger issues.

The idea came out out of an initiative Page created called Google 2.0, designed to create a new set of goals for the company, an approach similar to that taken by the late Steve Jobs at Apple in 2010, where he created an off-site strategy-planning meeting for the top 100 people in the company.

A little over a year ago, Google CEO Larry Page convened his direct reports, the company’s dozen or so senior vice presidents, for a project that would take up two days a week for a couple of months. About 100 other employees below the SVP rank also participated in the effort, dubbed Google 2.0 …

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Google acquiring Gecko Design for help with X projects

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Google is acquiring Gecko Design, a firm that helps develop products for companies like Hewlett-Packard, Slingmedia, Dell, Fitbit and furniture maker Herman Miller. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but the Los Gatos, California company will be rolled into Google’s X lab, which is responsible for items like Glass and the search giant’s driverless car.

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Google plans to create a ‘baseline’ of health from extensive data collected in new study

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Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

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Google’s co-founders on how they nearly sold the company, how they differ from Apple & more

In a ‘fireside chat’ with leading venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin talked about the moment they thought they’d sold the company to him for $1.6M.

There were four of us at the time – four grad students at Stanford. I remember, we fired off this note to Vinod. It was just a little e-mail that said, “We really don’t want to sell, but for $1.6 million, you got a deal.” And a few minutes later, we got a reply that said, “That’s a lot of dough, but ok we’ll do it.” That’s characteristic Vinod there. So then, ten minutes later, Scott – one of the four of us – comes running in, laughing. Huge grin on his face. He had faked the reply and back then, the ethics around faking emails weren’t quite the same. Anyway, so he had that big joke. The deal obviously never came to fruition, and we went our own way to build search …

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Sergey Brin: Google Glass will be a “commercial product” this year (give or take)

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While on stage at the Code Conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin talked Google Glass with Re/Code editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. When asked about the commercial availability of the product, Brin said that he hopes it will be available to all consumers by the end of the year. He remarked that “Google Glass will be a commercial product this year…plus or minus.” The timeline for Glass has been a bit cloudy since its announcement, but hopefully Google finally follows through this time around.

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Google X says no to jetpacks, just not practical

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Google X, Google’s top-secret lab thought about creating a jetpack, but determined the idea wasn’t practical. The same R&D group that didn’t shy away from trying to build a space elevator felt that such a contraption might not fit in with Google’s eco-friendly projects.

Astro Teller, Google X’s “Captain of Moonshots,” is tasked with overseeing long-term projects that think outside of the box to solve serious world problems. We’ve seen some exciting things like Glass come out of Google X, but sometimes things just don’t work. One of the team’s abandoned ideas was a secure jetpack.

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Google X tried to conquer space elevators, hoverboards and teleportation

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Over the years Google has produced some unbelievable products and the search giant shows no signs of slowing down. This has led to some heavy rumors claiming that the company’s super secret innovation lab, Google X has been working on a space elevator. As far-fetched as it may sound, guess what? It’s true! Well, sort of. Not only did Google kick around the idea of building a space elevator, it’s X lab also entertained the thought of building a hoverboard and the reality of teleportation. Recently, a group of members from Google’s hush-hush R&D group opened up to the folks at Fast Company about some the team’s wildest ideas.

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Google announces new smart contact lens to help track glucose levels

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Google published a blog post today detailing its newest project: a smart contact lens that can monitor glucose levels for diabetic users. The lens uses a small embedded sensor to measure the glucose in tears and a set of LED lights to signal when levels reach certain thresholds. Google says it has experimented with prototypes that can take readings up to an incredible once per second and completed several clinical trials.

Earlier this month, Google X employees met with the FDA staff responsible for biosensors and medical apps, and it was speculated that the company could be working on a smart contact lens. Google has said it is still discussing the future of such a product with the FDA, and that it will take time before a product like this is mature enough to release to the general public. When the time finally comes for this project to go to market, Google plans to work with unnamed partners to manufacture the devices and get them into the hands of patients and doctors.

And if you think Google is going to stop at glucose monitors, check out the Solve for (X) video below with one of the heads of Google Glass discussing putting the hardware in your contact lens…

Google X employees meet w/ FDA staff in charge of biosensors, mobile medical apps

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Bloomberg reports that a recent meeting between Google’s secretive Google X team and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raises “the possibility of a new product that may involve biosensors.” While it’s not that surprising that the Google X team behind Glass would meet with FDA staff that regulate eye devices, it’s also said to have met with those in charge of diagnostics for heart conditions. Bloomberg adds that four of the Google employees in attendance “have done research on sensors, including contact lenses that help wearers monitor their biological data.” Read more

After self-driving cars, Google now working on flying ones?

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Zee Aero, a low-profile company based in Mountain View very close to Google X, the company’s research lab, has registered a patent for what appears to be a flying car, reports SFGate (via Gizmodo). And from two photos uncovered by the paper, it looks like the company has already got as far as either a prototype or large mockup.

The patent illustrations look all but identical to an aircraft spotted from a helicopter at an abandoned Naval base on Alameda just under a year ago. If the photo looks a little odd it’s because Greg Espiritu used a camcorder to zoom in and then took this photo of the LCD display.

Here’s one of the patent illustrations:

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