Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian headquarters worth $120 million, where it plans to test a range of new experimental products.
Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian headquarters worth $120 million.
The search giant has begun construction of the new lab, which includes several buildings that are shielded from external radio waves, in addition to several anechoic and thermal chambers for testing sound and radiation patterns.
The lab will be used to test new experimental products, such as advanced home wireless projects and glasses with an innovative optical coating, some of which will be part of its recently announced Android@home range.
Google is also modifying a different lab for use in its Project X, which involves an 800,000 square foot refurbishment of the Googleplex and marks a new stage in its plans to expand into different consumer sectors.
Other plans include a Google Experience Centre, where people will be able to view the history and achievements of the company. It is intended to hold up to 900 people and will primarily be used to showcase Google's talent to prospective clients. This will work like a museum, exhibit and mercantile space, but it won't be open to the public.
This expansion and refurbishment effort might be a response to a similar project by Apple, which was begun by the late co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs shortly before his death. The companies have become major rivals in recent years, particularly in the smartphone and tablet arenas, and are likely hoping their new research centres will give them an edge in next-generation consumer products.