Google’s X lab also known as “moonshot factory” is known for coming up with some of the craziest products. These products include the likes of driverless cars, weather balloons that deliver Internet connectivity, contact lenses that can monitor glucose levels and nanoparticles to detect diseases early. While the lab has a shroud of mystery around it, Astro Teller, the Google executive in charge of the moonshot factory has given a glimpse at how the lab works in an interview with Fortune. Also Read - New avatar of Google Chrome’s offline dinosaur game: How you can play
Teller aka “Captain of Moonshots” reveals how any project being pitched must meet three criteria. It must be “a huge problem,” it “has to be some kind of radical proposed solution” for that problem, and lastly “it has to be possible.” Also Read - Best camera phones under Rs 35000 to buy in July 2021: Pixel 4a, Mi 11X, and more
As an example of how this works, he refers to Project Loon. It ticks the first box, as there are more than 5 billion people who do not have access to the Internet. The radical solution was to use hot air balloons to beam Internet instead of satellites. It took the team nearly a year to make the idea work, and now they have got to a point where they have started to “take this project really seriously.” Also Read - Timex Helix Smart 2.0 with temperature sensor, heart rate sensor launched: Details here
It is little wonder then that Google ditched projects to build a space elevator and a hoverboard. In both the cases the company decided that the logistics of both projects would have required far more research and development than was feasible.
For instance, Google actually managed to build a hoverboard, but it was only the size of a quarter and the company couldn’t figure out how to solve physics issues related to a larger version. As for the space elevator, no one in the world is essentially capable of mass-producing the kind of cables that are actually strong enough to hold up while being stretched from the earth into outer space.