Alphabet, obviously, has a lot of mainstream products that bring in a huge amount of revenue. Google’s ads business is clearly the front runner by a long shot, but there’s also Android, its hardware offerings (like the Nexus line, OnHub, etc.), Play Store digital content, as well as revenue from subsidiary companies like Nest (er.. Dropcam?), Google Fiber, and others.
But what usually excites people the most at Alphabet are the company’s moonshots under the umbrella of “X” — projects that usually cost hoards of money to keep alive and bring in nothing (or next to nothing) in return. The self-driving car project, Project Loon for worldwide internet, Project Titan drones, Makani‘s wind turbines, and Project Wing air-delivery are just a few, but there are even more exciting projects that have “graduated” to be their own unit at the company.
Google has often I/O as a showcase for its favorite moonshots. The company’s huge Google Glass extravaganza from 2012 is the most obvious example that comes to mind, but the company has used the stage at I/O to introduce to the world some just-as-exciting technologies with much less fanfare. Google ATAP, for example, gave a separate keynote at I/O 2015 introducing a handful of projects arguably more exciting than the things Google announced on the main stage. Technically not the same as the “moonshots” in the X division, but they’re in the same category in my opinion.
While you might be familiar with some the following projects (and that wouldn’t surprise me, considering they’ve all already been announced), they’re all ambitious experiments that have been recognized, announced, and made public-facing, but have since dropped off the radar; a lot of them have gone dormant, at least from our perspective. These are projects that excite me, and I want to hear what’s new with them come next month’s developer conference in Mountain View…
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