Secret "Google X" lab reimagines our future

By on November 14, 2011, 4:00 PM

Many large enterprises are known to tinker with blue-sky projects from time to time. Google is certainly no exception but the blue sky itself may be no limit for the search giant, a company run by two young idealists, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Word of Google's clandestine facility first oozed its way into public eyes this summer. Dubbed "Google X", only a handful of people actually know where the facility is located. Very little is known about the lab itself or the people involved, but you can bet Google has been working on some fascinating concepts behind its closed doors. 

When Google employees were asked about the project, very few know anything at all. Even fewer know more than it just exists, the New York Times reports, although the location of the lab is thought to be somewhere in the Bay area of Nothern California.

One of the people pegged as being involved with the project is Sergey Brin. When Larry Page was announced as CEO, Sergey was appointed as "head of special projects". Internally, Sergey is known as the "Head of Google X", sources close to Google told the Business Insider. Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are also known to participate, having contributed many of the 100 ideas found on Google X's research and development list.

Little is also known about the list itself, but the projects found on it include a "space elevator", not to mention a number of ideas involving robotics and artificial intelligence. Many of these items are still conceptual in nature, but New York Times sources claim one of these projects will be released by the end of this year. No one was able to provide details about what we can possibly expect.

Google spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, wouldn't comment on Google X specifically, but said:

"While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, please do keep in mind that the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses"

Google's autonomous vehicle experiments are a good example of the company's seemingly eccentric interests. Headed by Sebastian Thrun, the co-inventor of Google Street View,  the "driverless car" project has logged over 15,000 miles of autonomous driving since 2010. Sources claim Google continues to investigate having such vehicles manufactured.

Will we be seeing a space elevator soon? Probably not. But armed with one of the world's largest piles of money, Google is in a very good position to pursue the impossible.

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