Today's new features presage the future Google (pictures)
Google is growing beyond its search-engine roots. Here's a look at some of the newer technologies that hint at new directions for the company.
Sergey Brin and Project Glass
Google co-founder Sergey Brin touts the Project Glass computerized glasses at the Google I/O show in June. The electronic headwear draws on cell-phone technology such as ARM processors and small cameras, though Google specified a lens that's got a wider field of view than typical mobile phones.
In an attempt to humanize its Project Glass, its computerized headgear, Google showed off this mother-and-child scenario. The baby will stare but not smile at an ordinary camera, but with Project Glass, a mother can both interact with the baby and record photos or feed video to a video chat.
Google's top leaders pose in a Google self-driving car. From left to right are Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Larry Page, and co-founder Sergey Brin. The three have kept tight voting control over the company, though Google isn't immune to shareholder pressure and other problems if the stock price should drop significantly.
Android 4.1's Google Now service presents a variety of information tied to what's in your calendar, where you are, where you need to be, and what you're interested in. It's an early step in Google trying to create a service embedded into people's regular lives.
Google uses a combination of opt-in and opt-out mechanisms to give people some control over the access Google gets to personal information. Here's what Google Now users first see -- a combination of sales pitch and request for permission. The more Google is involved in people's personal lives, the more we can expect to have to actively manage many such opt-in and opt-out choices.
The Googlebot is Google's software for indexing the contents of Web pages, but with Google's power and ambition on the Net, it's easy to imagine it being much more menacing. Paul Ford drew this cartoonish illustration for a 2002 story about Google and e-commerce.