To Google is to search, but in the future it could mean much more. Google operates a secret lab in the Bay Area devoted to projects far beyond the cutting-edge: ideas like robots that go to the office for you and dinner plates that communicate with your social network, the New York Times reports. Google X, as the lab is known, employs some of the country’s top engineers and has a list of 100 projects in the works, including elevators that would travel from Earth to space.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is a leader at Google X, while fellow co-founder Larry Page and chairman Eric Schmidt have also been involved in defining the 100-item list. While much of the lab’s work is purely conceptual thus far, one of its inventions is due out by year’s end, insiders say, though no further details were given. Robots sit at the core of many of the ideas; others revolve around what Google calls the "Web of things"—the idea that typical objects (like your coffeepot) could connect to the Internet (where you could set it to brew). A Google rep would not discuss the lab, but did say, "While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, please do keep in mind that the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses." Click to read the Times' entire piece.