Number 10. Project Loon. Launching a bunch of WiFi enabled hot air balloons to circle the globe and provide connectivity where there is none sounds like a fabulous idea.
Number 9. Smart Contact Lens. Packed with all kinds of sensors and wirelessly connected to a machine that interprets the info, the smart lens aims to monitor the wearer’s glucose levels. That could mean no more prick tests for nearly 400 million people worldwide.
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Number 8. Driverless Cars. In the latest advance towards autonomous cars, Google has built a vehicle without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. The company says they are eventually going to make around a hundred prototypes and hopefully start testing them on the streets of California this summer.
Number 7. Calico. Google is a major investor in the California Life Company, or Calico. The goal is to find a fountain of youth that will battle both diseases and aging itself. The efforts are headed up by one of the world’s foremost biotech scientists and, well, Google, so if anybody can do it, they’re a good bet.
Number 6. Teleportation. They didn’t take this one very far, but at least they considered it. The research was dropped because, “in part because any unique item that you would want to teleport… would have to be completely destroyed before it could be reconstituted on the other end.”
Number 5. Better Wind Turbines. The biggest difference between theirs and everybody else’s is that Google-owned Makani’s will be airborne. They will use less material, and while they are tethered to the ground they can tap into the more powerful winds found at around 1000 feet in altitude.
Number 4. Space Elevator. It’s exactly what it sounds like — an elevator to beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. After reviewing the idea and deciding the only material for the job was carbon nanotubes – and they don’t come long enough yet – they pushed the idea aside.
Number 3. Something to do with a lot of really serious robots. Google has been on a robotics company buying spree. Recently they’ve acquired several heavy hitters in the field, including Boston Dynamics, one of DARPA’s favorite destinations when groundbreaking automation is needed. Time will hopefully tell what they’re up to.
Number 2. Hoverboard. Many have tried, none have succeeded, and apparently that includes the geniuses at Google X. They used magnets to get it to float above ground, but due to polarity shifts, the board kept flipping over.
Number 1. Google Glass. Some projects do make it out of the lab and to the general population. The computer looks like a pair of glasses and is activated by the voice, eye movements, or the tap of the wearer. It can deliver email, take photos, and look up recipes while you’re cooking.
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