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.
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…
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
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:
The “Googleplex” has been Google’s hallmark offices for years and rates as one of the top places to work by many magazines. According to a new report from the Mercury Times, Google is expanding on its already large Googleplex. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company reportedly plans to spend $120 million to add new advancements to its sprawling headquarters, from a new museum to new testing labs for the secret Google X projects.
Google plans to open a new Experience Center as a museum not open to the public. The Experience Center would show Google’s history to special invited groups. Some of the products shown off could potentially be confidential. The focus here would be selling products to groups, such as school districts.
There has been much in the news lately regarding Google’s “Project X.” In Project X, the team is reportedly working on new HUD glasses, which we exclusively told you last month. As part of its new $120 million addition, Google is attaching new additions to that sector. Google is also adding to its “Google/@home” initiative. As part of @home, Google is reportedly developing a new streaming home-entertainment device. This break through into consumer electronics could be announced tomorrow, according to a teaser from the Google TV team.
Google reportedly poached an Apple employee to hire on its own staff. VentureBeat reported that Google hired Apple’s (now former) Senior Director of Product Integrity Simon Prakash for a secret project, where he would work perhaps alongside Google’s cofounder Sergey Brin. Prakash could even work under Motorola Mobility, whom Google is working to acquire, to head hardware projects.
Prakash worked at Apple for over eight years, and was responsible for the product quality across Apple’s products—from iPhones to Macs. To boost his reputation, you may recall that Apple was voted top among product quality in a recent JD Power and Associates Award for the sixth consecutive last year. It is obvious why Google would go after such an employee.
Prakash could be joining Google to work on Google X’s wearable heads up display glasses we showed you in December. Former Apple employee Richard DeVaul, a PhD. scientist from MIT with a focus on building wearable technologies, also left Apple to join Google X’s team. Is Google building up a huge and talented team for such a large product?
We have more iOS device executive departure news forthcoming, so stay tuned.