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09-Aug-2013

New innovations coming out of Googleplex

We recently joined Wavelength on their US tour of Silicon Valley and were lucky enough to visit Google’s head office, otherwise known as Googleplex, in Mountain View, California. As you know Google are widely renowned for coming good on their audacious mission to ‘organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’

While at Googleplex we heard about their mind blowing latest new products.  We loved seeing Google Glass, the voice commanded, wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) in action.  These little beauties allow you to take instant pictures and movies by voice command, share what you see live, see directions right in front of you, voice command texts, ask what ever is on you mind & translates your voice into other languages.  Experience for yourself here.

An unexpected invention from Google is their self driving car.  The car aims to make driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient. With 90% of all road accidents caused by human error – what if you take out the human?  We loved this surprising innovation as it really shows how far Google  are prepared to take their capabilities and drive their vision forward in all areas. Using their data capture, search and information accessibility skills  to help people navigate not just on screen but on real roads. This goes way beyond mapping. Furthermore, the car will allow partially sighted or blind people to drive to their local stores or visit family much easier.  Check out this video to see what autonomous technology can deliver if rigorous technology and safety standards can be met.

One of the most intriguing and remarkable of Googles' recent endeavours is Project Loon – a network of balloons that are on the edge of space that provide internet coverage to people in rural and remote areas – truly fulfilling their mission to make information accessible to all. 

It’s no wonder Google are constantly revolutionising the way things are done – they constantly foster creativity for their employees with their facilitative workspaces and their 20% innovation rule - where engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on whatever they want.  Many of Google’s products have started from employees 20% time.  What do your people spend their time on?  Maybe we should all spend a little more time exploring our passions – who knows what we’ll come up with? We learned recently that Google are now scrapping the 20% rule.  Perhaps the habit of looking outside the narrow confines of the day job is so integrated into the culture that there is no need to formalise it anymore! We look forward to seeing what they come up with next!