Thursday, 2 October 2014

Everything is Awesome…

….. in the Lego Movie and in the world of Google.  Last week’s London Atmosphere event showcased several Google products, primarily “Google for Work”, a rebranded version of the old Enterprise suite.  It’s the same set of ideas as Enterprise but seems slicker, tighter and with some interesting new features like Google Drive.  Ideas such as collaborative document editing have been around for a while and just get better when deployed with tools such as Hangouts.  Google claims to have signed up 5 million businesses, which makes me wonder why I’m still using Microsoft Exchange/Outlook and a Blackberry that feels like it’s from the Ark.

Whilst the bulk of the event was taken up with Google for Work presentations and case studies, the most interesting and inspiring part came when they gave a glimpse of major new projects like Google Glass and the Driverless Car.  I’m not massively in to the whole Glass thing….. the idea of having a display right in front of my eye kind of leaves me cold.  But the Driverless Car presentation was incredible.  It showed the Car being tested at Google HQ in Mountain View, California, with members of the public being brought in to have a test ride.  Mostly these people seemed to be completely wowed and enjoying themselves, and there was an amazing moment when the car was used by a blind man who was moved to tears by the freedom such an invention could bring to him. 

The Driverless Car project has been around for a while and it still seems uncertain whether Google will commercialise a vehicle themselves or license technology to car manufacturers.  Nevertheless, this thing is a long way down the road and it’s coming to the UK for testing in 2015….. maybe science fiction is closer than we think?

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