Google’s New Baby, Sidewalk Labs, Will Make Cities Better
The time has long gone by when the name “Google” was associated merely with the most popular search engine in the world.
The company has since made its mark in the mobile world, virtual reality, eyewear and a wide range of other industries and is now embarking on an ambitious new project, involving nothing more and nothing less than cities.
The new project is aptly called Sidewalk Labs and will be dedicated to exploring and implementing new technologies to improve our urban living. The new company will thus occupy itself with developing solutions for more efficient energy use, battling city pollution, improving transportation systems, helping governments in making better and more informed decisions and (halleluiah!) reducing the cost of living in big cities.
The startup is based on a stunning partnership of New York’s former deputy mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff and Larry Page (Google’s current CEO) himself.
According to the company’s founders, they deem the timing right for a company of this kind and believe that technology has reached a level at which it can significantly contribute to the development and improvement of cities. The arsenal of potentially used technology may involve everything from sensors to the exchange of digital data.
Not much detail is yet available as to how the project will evolve directly, but the message is clear: cities + new technologies = urban bliss.
The project has already been compared (by Google itself) to its other prominent future-improving initiatives, like Google X (Google’s experimental research branch) and Calico (a company focused on human lifespan expansion).
The new company will be based in New York and bear the proud title of an “urban innovation company” with a pretty impressive team (as we’ve mentioned at the beginning of the post) as its head.
The question on everyone’s mind – how much has Google invested in the new fledgeling- has remained mostly unanswered with Larry Page calling the investment in Sidewalk Labs “relatively modest” and mentioning that the company will function rather autonomously, being “very different from Google’s core business”.
For more on Sidewalk Labs, check out what Larry Page had to say about it on his Google+ page here.