Google’s I/O conference is right around the corner, as it prepares to kick off on Wednesday at 9AM PDT with the famous keynote. Until then, everyone is excited about what the company could unveil at the event. Aside from the plans the company has for its Android mobile OS, its regular tools, and the Internet in general, there’s also one experimental side of Google that’s quite exciting.
Google X is the team that has given us Google Glass, the wearable gadget that everyone has an opinion on, the driverless cars and Project Loon, the company’s efforts to bring Internet to everyone, everywhere, especially in times of natural disasters.
Google has already confirmed that it has created its own prototypes for the cars that need no driver. We already know they have no steering wheels, no pedals, and look like adorable puppies, but there is plenty more that we want to know.
When will they be available for purchase? How much will they cost? Who’s going to mass-produce them? What changes are you willing to allow manufacturers to make? The list is endless and the project so exciting that we can’t help wanting to know more.
This is truly an area where we continue to need more details both about the technical side of the cars and about the way they’ll be able to reach the buyers, including the legislative hurdles the company has to surpass to make the cars available for people to buy.
How about Google Glass? Sure, the device is already out there, and we’ve all seen it. Most of the world has an idea about how things work, although some are still a bit in the dark about part of the features. Since we’re on the topic, Google should really also address the privacy issues and help clear up any misconceptions about the product.
That being said, we’re all waiting for the second generation of Google Glass, complete with a seriously lowered price tag, and a plan for the worldwide release. We’d even be grateful with a short glimpse of the new device and a worldwide release date, which would be more exact than the “later this year” we’ve been getting.
In the past year, Google made quite a few acquisitions for its X lab. The company was particularly interested to do its shopping in the robotics isle, managing to acquire even giant company Boston Dynamics, as well as DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence company. In fact, Google purchased multiple businesses that were deeply rooted in robotics. The list includes robot builders, as well as companies that create wheels, cameras, and arms for these.
The question remains what it’ll do with all the acquired talent. What plans it has for the future and what it could possibly come up with remains a mystery of sorts since surely walking robotic dogs aren’t exactly what Google has in mind.
Last year, Google introduced this project that aims to bring Internet access to remote areas where traditional networks cannot reach or where there’s no interest to expand the infrastructure. Not only could Loon help connect people from these areas, but it could also come in handy in times of difficulty, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and more.
Up until now, the company has tested out the balloons, but it hasn’t said much about when it plans to actually deploy the network or if there’s a viable timeline for when this could happen. More information about Loon may be revealed at the conference.