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 …

Read more

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

Sergey Brin, Google, Code Conference

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.

Read more

Google X says no to jetpacks, just not practical

Astro-teller

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.

Read more

Google X tried to conquer space elevators, hoverboards and teleportation

space-elevator

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.

Read more

Google announces new smart contact lens to help track glucose levels

Hand holding - zoomed in

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

glass

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