Emerging Tech

Google’s mysterious lab surfacing in WeSolveForX?

solve for xGoogle X has always been a thing of mystery. A domain referencing “X” first appeared in 2005, and it was nothing more than an OS X take on Google Search and applications. While it now renders a 404 error, you can access the original via a variety of mirrors preserving the site.

But nothing about this Google X ever came to fruition, and when Labs was shuttered last year it generally seemed like Google’s experimental phase was over. However Google might have a little mad scientist left in it. Today it surfaced that Google registered the domain WeSolveForX, a site devoted to science and technology applications.

“Solve for X is a place where the curious can go to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems,” the site’s intro reads. “Radical in the sense that the solutions could help billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audaciousness of the proposals make them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon to give us all hope that these ideas could really be brought to life.”

According to Richard DeVaul, a Googler who is part of the company’s Rapid Evaluation Team explained via Google+ that Solve for X is affiliated with a series of conferences that revolve around everything from improving agriculture to synthetic biology. Formerly DeVaul worked investigating new technologies for Apple.

While we don’t know when WeSolveForX will officially open to the public, Google Rapid Evaluation Team offers some background on what the company is trying to do with this new property. According to DeVaul, the team is part of a “secret Google lab that may or may not be filled with roving robots, space elevators, and talking refrigerators.” From the sound of it, Google has a metaphorical basement of emerging technologies it’s researching and developing.

Earlier this year, the New York Times was able to provide a small peak inside this top secret laboratory, thanks to anonymous sources. Now the company that has become synonymous with Internet advertising could be bringing all these secrets to surface with WeSolveForX. 9to5Google was able to unearth one project that it believes is part of the X Labs: Oakley-looking glasses with a front-facing camera that gather data and transmit it to augmented reality apps.

Whether these are designated for the concept-only pile or not, it’s refreshing to see a company that doesn’t have to take risks on furthering technology. Google could sit contentedly atop its pile of Android and advertising revenue, but it’s that lack of complacency that keeps consumers connected with a company that raises eyebrows from time to time. 

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