At Google X, a Top-Secret Lab Dreaming Up the Future
It’s a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet, so it could order groceries when they ran low. Your dinner plate could post to a social network what you’re eating. Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas. These are just a few of the dreams being chased at X, the clandestine lab where Google is tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas. Although most of the ideas on the list are in the conceptual stage, nowhere near reality, two people briefed on the project said one product would be released by the end of the year, although they would not say what it was. “They’re pretty far out in front right now,” said Rodney Brooks, a professor emeritus at M.I.T.’s computer science and artificial intelligence lab and founder of Heartland Robotics. At most Silicon Valley companies, innovation means developing online apps or ads, but Google sees itself as different. Robots figure prominently in many of the ideas. Mr.