From producing green energy with a kite and giving internet from a balloon to millionsGOOGLE is a synonym of dare and innovation. The Silicon Valley giant has outstanding technology and its futuristic breakthrough ideas are so impressive that makes you believe that there are no limits.
During this week in the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, the company talked about its newest project, Nova, their own mobile phone network. However project Nova is not the only one Google has, there are many other projects that are being developed and some of them turn to be like out of a Sci-fi movie.
1. Project Nova
It is the newest project in which Google will attempt to grow as a mobile phone network but not just any network. Its goal is to go worldwide and give broadband connection to every country. It has to start somewhere though, the firm will start in the US where it is rumored to have deals with Sprint and T-Mobile already.
With Nova’s virtual network, Google wants to give their subscribers the possibility to smoothly change between WiFi and mobile phone signals and even between radio transmitter posts. This allows the phone to have the best possible signal and cut the number of dropped calls.
During the Mobile World Congress Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice-president, said: “We are working hard to create a backbone so that we can provide connectivity. We will be working with carriers around the world so that they’ll be able to build their services on our backbone.”
2. Solve for X
Solve for X began in 2012 as a small project at Google led by Eric Schmidt, Astro Teller, and Megan Smith. Although it isn’t a small project anymore its idea remains the same: solve global problems by using radical technology ideas while encouraging individuals and organizations to work together. It is a community of people who believe that science and technology can cause radically positive things to happen in the world.
3. Evolution of the web
With Evolution of the web, you can explore how web technologies have developed through the years with this interactive and beautifully designed chart. You can see how webpages and technologies used to look like.
4. Project Ara
Just their slogan “Designed exclusively for 6 billion people” will make your eyes go wide open.
Imagine having the possibility of deciding what kind of hardware you would like your smartphone to have instead of buying the phone for the hardware. Project Ara is exactly that, the product is a smartphone with different kind of interchangeable modules to let you have the ultimate smartphone that fits your needs.
“With a modular platform, you can pick the camera you want for your phone rather than picking your phone for the camera.You could have a sensor to test if water is clean. You could have a battery that lasts for days. A really awesome speaker. A gamer phone. Or it could even be your car key. The possibilities are limitless.” -Project Ara
5. Project Link
Project Link‘s main purpose is to bring faster and more reliable internet in Africa. The first country in which the company has been building infrastructure is Uganda. Resellers in the Ugandan capital Kampala can use the high-speed fiber optic network to provide connection and services to homes and businesses. Soon the project will be expanding to other African countries.
6. Project Loon
Project Loon was born to help people get online after an emergency or natural disaster. The way it does this is by sending huge balloons to the edge of space and create a network to fill the gaps and connect people.
“The balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction. Project Loon uses software algorithms to determine where its balloons need to go, then moves each one into a layer of wind blowing in the right direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.” -Project Loon
The project is awesome and the video is pretty cool too.
7. Project Titan
With Project Titan Google doesn’t want to get behind in the race to conquer the sky and provide wireless internet to rural and remote places. The way the firm wants to do this is by sending solar-powered drones that can stay up in the air for 5 years. This week during the Mobile World Congress it was revealed that they plan to send the first fleet of drones this year. The project’s team is working very close with initiatives like Loon and Makani.
Very intriguing game based on augmented reality for iOS and Android devices. It is a game that lets you play with others from your same area and has a complex science fiction back story with a continuous open narrative. I could explain the whole game here but it is better if you check out the video and try it out.
9. Google Sky
Did you know that you can go far beyond Google Earth? With Google Sky you can explore our solar system, distant stars and galaxies. In addition to Sky you can use Google Mars and Google Moon to see these places in detail.
10. Creative Sandbox
“When creativity and technology collide in the digital space”
Creative Sandbox is one of Google’s sites that allows anyone to create marketing campaigns, however these aren’t common ones. All the campaigns take advantage of the digital innovations and Google describes it as a place to expose cool creations, generate inspiration, and prompt possibilities.
You can also create and join the platform to share your own, learn or get inspired from examples created by others including companies. If you are into design, marketing or advertising this is the place you want to go to.
Volvo’s “test drive a car without a car” campaign is a very good example of what you can find.
11. Project Makani
The idea behind Project Makani seems taken out of a movie, but it is a reality now. Google has built kites that uses wind to create electricity.
“Makani is working to accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy by developing energy kites, a new type of wind turbine that uses lightweight electronics, advanced materials, and smart software to generate more energy with less materials—all at lower cost.” -Project Makani
They built kites that can go higher than any wind turbine and access more powerful winds, while eliminating up to 90% the materials needed to build a conventional wind turbine. This will increase the amount of energy produced to up to 50%.
12. Chrome LEGO builder
LEGO and Google worked together to create Build with Chrome, a platform that lets you use Google Maps as your working station to build cities and known monuments out of the famous interlocking bricks.
13. Smarty Pins
To make people interact more with Google Maps, the company simply had to create a game. Smarty Pins is an interactive and fun geography trivia for all ages. You know that the Cannes Film Festival is in France (right?) but can you locate it on the map?.
You start the game with 1609km, the game is over when you lose all of your kilometers. The game consists in giving you a question and then will let you place a pin where you think the city or that place is. Depending on how close you where to the right place you’ll get or lose kilometers. It has 6 different categories to choose.
Open your Google Earth and hit CTRL-ALT-A, you can also select it from the Tools Menu. The Google Earth Flight Simulator allows you to fly a fighter jet or a small single-engine plane and explore Earth from a pilot’s point of view. The controls are easy but in case you want to do things like landing it is suggested to read the instructions, well… unless it is a big IKEA cabinet, who reads instructions anyway?