Friday, November 19, 2010

10 Amazing Google Side Projects You Never Heard Of...

Everyone and their mother knows that Google has a stranglehold on the internet search market. But by no means is that where this technological giant leaves off.

Thanks to Samantha Rhodes for emailing me this list. These ten Google side projects could potentially revolutionize everything from your morning commute to evening television, or they might go nowhere except to the annals of "very cool" stuff that never materialized.

Will pre- and post-Google be the way technology is referred to in the future?

  1. Google Cars
    The world of traffic jams and fender benders just might be coming to an end. With this amazing technological breakthrough, Google announced that it has developed cars that can drive themselves. Over 140,000 miles of road in California have been automatically driven in traffic by Google over the last months. Those with safety concerns have to be impressed by the vehicle’s instant reaction time and 360-degree awareness, which both reduce the instance of accidents and reduce traffic by being able to drive a fleet of cars as one. With successful test runs already completed, it might not be long before people are actually encouraged to surf Google and “drive” at the same time.

  2. Google Goggles
    That isn’t a typo, Google actually offers a feature named Goggles. Once again revolutionizing the world of search engines, this feature actually allows people to use pictures to search the web. The app available for smart phones allows you to take a photo, search for it, and get results instantly. It can even recognize text, translate into different languages, and even bring up contact information. Be sure to click on the video to see both the limitations and amazing results this app can bring.

  3. Google Instant
    If you haven’t noticed by now, typing in words into the Google homepage brings up results instantly as you type. This allows browsers to see results instantly, correct spelling errors as they type, and avoid that lengthy process of hitting the Enter button. Predictions are still available, with the most relevant or popular ones still popping up as you type and can be easily selected. Those who don’t enjoy the change can turn off Google Instant by visiting the Preferences page.

  4. Google TV
    In a collaborative effort with Sony, Google has now invaded the world of television. Their internet TV software brings Hulu, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora direct to the television. With models starting at $599 for a 24 inch, they offer several USB and HDMI ports, and even Wi-Fi capabilities for each set. Best of all, there is no extra cost for those who already have existing cable or satellite services to enjoy Google TV.

  5. Google Top Box
    If your brain or your wallet isn’t ready for Google TV, there is hope. Both cheaper and working with many existing televisions, the set top box features many of the advantages of the television. Those who are wary of purchasing new tech as it hits the shelves will be able to wait a while and then choose between the television or top box.

  6. Google Wind
    Sure we have the tech, but do we have the technology to power it? Google is making that possible in a greener way. They recently announced that they will invest in an enormous new project to build offshore wind farms off the mid-Atlantic coast that could bring energy to as many as 1.9 million households. Named the Atlantic Wind Connection, it would produce 6,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity.

  7. Google Innovation
    Ever wish your boss wouldn’t care if you spent five minutes checking your Facebook account? Then apply for a job at Google. Its employees are granted a generous 20 percent in “innovation time.” In it, employees are allowed to spend a fifth of their day, or over one and a half hours in a regular work day, researching or exploring items outside their normal duties. While there are skeptics who believe this is a ruse, the idea has generated enough buzz to be considered seriously by any employer.

  8. Google Webmaster
    Although the original Webmaster has been around for a while, there have been recent developments. In the pat, it allowed certain users to get data about crawling, indexing, and search traffic. However, new parameter handling features have become available to everyone and are explained in further detail by Search Engine Land.

  9. Google Social
    Although social media may be dominated by Facebook, Twitter, and the like, Google has not given up that piece of the pie just yet. With the addition of social planning start up Plannr, Google Me is one step closer to bringing itself into competition.

  10. Google Earth
    Although this feature has been around for a while, the things it discovers have not ceased to cause headlines. Expanding every day, images can be seen as far away as Antarctica. There are even grisly reports that Google Earth has captured images that any other site or media outlet could never before. On the other end, Google Earth can even help lead to scientific discoveries such as meteor craters.



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