Google is a many-headed beast of a corporation. In fact, you may not even know that Google is just one leg of what is now called Alphabet, the umbrella company created by Google’s founders. A few of the many arms of the Alphabet kraken you may be familiar include Nest, Google Capital and, of course, Google which, sprouts it’s own sub-categories like Google Apps, Maps, YouTube, Ads, Android, and more. You might be wondering what’s been going on at one of the most well-known multinational technology companies of late. Let us tell you about 5 Google projects you can look forward to in 2016.
Google Projects and Plans in the Works
Verily’s Baseline Study
What you may have known as Google Life Sciences is now an Alphabet branch called Verily. The main goal at Verily is “to bring together technology and life sciences to uncover new truths about health and disease.” Making us healthier and ridding the world of disease doesn’t sound so bad, huh? Hardware, Software, Clinical and Science teams are working on projects that will help reach Verily’s ultimate goal. One of the Verily projects that caught our eye is the Baseline Study. This project is rooted genomics, but it also implements database technology. A committee of scientists from Google, Duke University, and Stanford University worked on the design for the Baseline Study, which will ultimately collect anonymous genetic information from 10,000 people. This collection will be the “baseline” of what a healthy human should look like on a molecular level. There’s no doubt this is going to be one huge database. Database administrators polish off those resumes now!
Android’s Unified OS
While Android has taken over the smartphone market share, it appears Google has it’s scope set for Android taking over not only watches, smartphones, tablets and TVs, but the Desktop PC, automobiles, VR headsets and more. In fact, Android is so big at the company we already know that that it plans to merge Android with Chrome OS. It looks like we should see an early version of an Android desktop version in 2016. It appears Chrome OS won’t be phased out just yet, but once a new Android-based OS is released we may see Chrome OS become an open source dodo. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, watch out!
Virtual Reality Expansion
We’ve been seeing Google’s top employees transitioning to the Google VR team, including the lead designer of Google Search and the former lead designer for Firefox, Google Now, and Android Wear. What does this indicate for Google projects? Google wants to expand VR beyond its “Google Cardboard” program. It looks like Google is putting a considerable amount of resources into a mind blowing VR project. What exactly are they working on? So far it seems to be an Android OS that will power virtual-reality applications, plus some kind of 3D audio. Exciting! Oculus Rift, watch your back!
Google’s Internet of Things
You may be familiar with Google’s OnHub Wi-Fi router. TP-link manufactured it based on Google’s design and specifications. In addition to looking way more modern than your traditional router, OnHub comes with powerful antennas that guarantee wireless coverage and productivity through the home. What’s most interesting is it’s controlled with an easy-to-use app known as Google On. This app can run a speed test, keep an eye on your network, and control the OnHub router from anywhere. However, it’s also an indication of future Google On products coming down the pipeline.
Google is investing in many Internet of Things projects. So what is the “Internet of Things” exactly? The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is “the network of physical objects (things) embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data,” according to Wiki. Google’s IoT stack currently consists of Thread, a wireless “thread” that connects every device to every other device, Weave a language used by IoT products to speak over the Thread, and Brillo, the OS to run it all on. This means soon you could have an Android-based OS that runs all your IoT devices like door locks and light bulbs, a communication platform that gets all your IoT devices talking to each other, regardless of the manufacturer, and a low-power IoT protocol that will give longevity to your current IoT device power supply, ie. those AA and AAA batteries.
Slowly but surely Google Fiber is reaching more and more locations. One of the Google projects is to bring internet access to more areas in 2016 and beyond. One of the Internet Access projects it’s working is Project Loon. The Project Loon web page currently says it’s “a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.” This means you’d basically have a cell tower up in the air which would shoot down 4G LTE to anything that can receive it. One balloon can stay in the air for six months. Internet access can cover an area the size of a small U.S. state. Wowsers! Late in 2015 Google filed an FCC request for a two-year nationwide test of radios in specific wave bands. What could this mean? Hopefully more airborne testing in the U.S. May 2016 bring Internet to anyone wishing to get their hands on it.
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