November 14, 2011, 5:55 PM — The New York Times has an intriguing article online about Google X, "the clandestine lab where Google is tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas."
Hmm. Not quite. While there is one literal "shoot for the stars" idea -- a "space elevator," which, honestly, seems pretty impractical to me -- many of the others cited in the Times seem a lot less mind-blowing. For example:
[Google X] is 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.
While the robot idea admittedly is a good one, the refrigerator thing is just a supply-chain hack. And the notion of your devices posting to social networks is downright dangerous. ("Hi Twitterverse, this is Chris's computer. He's looking at porn again!")
Of course, we all know about Google's driverless car. That too is a potential winner. But why not flying cars? Or flying suits? Or even something simpler, like those jet packs on Lost in Space?
Maybe Google is keeping the most ambitious projects under wrap, which probably is a good idea. Why tip your hand to a potential competitor?
Let's hope that's the case, because there are a few inventions I'd like to see in my lifetime, and someone needs to get cracking before it's too late. Below is my list of desired Google X projects. Feel free to add your own in the comments section. And if anyone from Google X Labs is reading this, let me know if the items below are in the pipeline. I won't tell anyone, unless it's somehow, even in a small way, to my advantage. That's a promise.
My Google X Top Ten Wish List
10. Animal "mind-reading" helmet
9. Human "mind-reading" helmet for animals
8. Ghost-detection device (you know, just in case)
7. Shape-shifting serum
6. Reality distortion field (sorry, already invented by Steve Jobs)
5. Beer goggles (sorry, already invented by Anheuser-Busch)
4. Dimension-crossing portal
3. Teleportation device
2. Time machine
1. An "all-in-one" TV remote that actually works