Google's looking to become its own wireless carrierGoogle plans to shake up the US wireless market, Project Ara could partner with Blocks modular smartwatch, and photos leak for the HTC One M9 "Hima."
[MUSIC] [NOISE] Googlicious. What's happening? Brian Tong here, and welcome to Googlicious. It's all the Google that we can pack inside of a show. Now, Google is taking on the universe with the recent announcement of five winners that will be sharing $5.25 million for their milestone achievements in Google's Lunar X prize contest. Now the final goal of this contest is to take a robot to the moon. A $20 million grand prize will be given to the team that's able to land a robot on the moon that can move more than 500-meters, and it must also stream video from the surface. Of that moon. Now, the three categories of achievement that companies were recently rewarded for were imaging, mobility, and landing technology. And you guys can find out more about the contest and the companies competing at the link below. And it's just another way that Google is pushing people to think big. All right, we've shown you plenty with Google's project are a modular smartphone, but have you seen the blocks smart watch platform? That's really aiming to create a modular smart watch of their own. Well, blocks unveiled their plans a few months ago, and now the latest reports claim Google may be interested in working with the blocks team. To bring the best of both companies' modular ideas together to work in harmony. Blocks's take on the modular smart watch was featured at Intel's CES booth, and they showcased how each module or link of the smart watch could act as a battery, sim card slot, GPS unit or more. And also having a single development community. For both devices really makes sense and also gives them the best chance to survive long term as well. Okay, Google Fiber is likely making its next expansion into North Carolina. Both Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham have been listed as potential candidates. There has been no official announcement, but Google is planning three separate announcements. In the area next week, and we highly doubt it will be the unveiling of the Nexus seven phone, or maybe it could be. Now, up to this point Google fiber's gigabit network exists in Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, you know, the home of the 100 times faster Wi-fi. At Starbucks. All right. Sticking to networking, a recent report from The Information claims that Google is planning on launching its own cellular network where they will sell plans directly to customers and manage their calls and data just like a carrier. Now, they won't be building their own infrastructure, but they'll accomplish this by buying wholesale access to Sprint and T-Mobile's network, similar to companies like Boost Mobile or Cricket Wireless. The specific details remain unclear but we will keep you guys all updated. And in some gadget news, new leaked photos show off the reported Hima, that's the HTC One M9 model with its rounded metal body design, it looks very similar to the M8 but the power button has now moved to the right side of the device while the volume rocker has been moved lower as well. We expect a five-inch 1080p display, 20.7 megapixel rear camera, and eight-core Snapdragon 810 processor and three gigs of RAM. But official details are expected at Mobile World Congress in March. And Google's $99 Nexus Player has been available on their own Google Play website for some time. But it's expected to hit Wal-Mart store shelves and Newegg's online store, so you can go and get it there. And no, we didn't forget about HP's recent announcement for their new Pro Slate 12. That includes a 12-inch screen, but it's also the first tablet to be built with Gorilla Glass 4, the latest glass tech from the company that's supposed to be stronger and offers better drop protection. Now, the HP Pro Slate will also include a duet pen. That will act as a regular stylus and a writing utensil as well. Specs include a 1600 by 1200 resolution snapdragon 800 processor, 2 gigs of ram, and 32 gigs of expandable flash storage starting at 569 dollars. But they'll also be offering a smaller pro slate 8 inch model that starts at 449. Alright. That's gonna do it for this week's show. You can always email us at googlicious at cnet dot com. Or tweet me @briantong. Thanks for watching, we'll catch you guys next time for some more of that Googlicious. [MUSIC] Googlicious.