When someone mentions Google, people invariably think of search engines. It makes sense, given that the company has become the largest and most popular one of its kind over the course of the past few years. However, search engines aren’t the only thing Google is interested in these days. While helping Internet users find what they’re looking for is the company’s bread and butter, the tech visionaries at the company are constantly working on new ideas for the Google brand.
The top secret research is conducted in an undisclosed Bay Area laboratory known as Google X. Here, researchers, tech wizards, and other really smart people are working on Google’s future – utilizing a series of ideas that sound like something straight out of a science-fiction film. Robots that will go to work for you, Internet-connected refrigerators that will monitor when you run out a certain item and order more, and an elevator to outer space are all things being mulled over at the lab. It’s very cool, and also a little crazy – but people thought guys like Thomas Edison were crazy at one point, too.
A piece on the lab written by The New York Times got us thinking – if we had a day to talk with the brainiacs at Google X, what would we suggest they make? Being movie geeks, obviously our choices would revolve around cool things in films. After much debate, we came up with five movie-related items that we’d love to see Google create. Read on for our list.
Even though things didn’t work out quite so well for Jeff Goldblum in David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly, we’d still love for someone to invent the teleportation technology featured in the film. Just think of how awesome it would be to teleport around the globe almost instantly. No more need for high priced gasoline, no more waiting in line to be groped by TSA agents, no more cross-country trips with the kids constantly asking “are we there yet?”, and no more having to sit next to the guy who smells weird on the bus or subway. That sounds like a winner to us. If American politicians are really serious about cutting our dependence on foreign oil, then they need to convince the guys at Google to get on this immediately. Alternate choice: The Transporter System from Star Trek.
We almost went with Doc Brown’s Delorean for this list, but then we started thinking about the butterfly effect and concluded that the idea of everyone being able to travel back in time at will and change history probably wasn’t the best idea. So, we instead went with the hoverboard – because while it doesn’t really change our lives in any meaningful way, it looks fun as hell. Surfing on a layer of air? Sounds amazing. Plus, think of how many awesome videos there’d be on YouTube of guys wiping out on these things. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.
This one was a no-brainer. Anyone who’s seen Star Wars has inevitably thought “how freaking cool would it be to have my very own Lightsaber?” Pretty darn cool, actually. While Lightsabers seem to serve no practical purpose for, well, anything, we’d still prefer to live in a world where swords made of colored streams of laser energy were real and not something that George Lucas might go back and change in the next Star Wars do-over. Sure, they may not be practical, but neither are those Highlander replica swords hanging over your fireplace. At least with a Lightsaber, you could cut down trees, or slice through cans, or maybe even deflect a bullet if some nefarious person invaded your home. Help us, Google X -- you’re our only hope!
Star Trek gave us lots of cool stuff we’d love to see in real life (including Phasers and the aforementioned Transporters), but one cool thing that gets overlooked is the Genesis technology from Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock. You shoot this thing at a desolate and uninhabitable planet, detonate it, and voila! Earth 2. With global warming, seven billion people, declining oil supplies, and a load of other problems, terraforming technology like Genesis could save the entire human race! It doesn’t work out so well Search for Spock, but the guys at Google can surely troubleshoot it and make it better.
The Time-Altering Remote Control
We’ve all done it – you’re sitting on your couch one night muting a commercial and you look at all those buttons on your remote control and think “man, how awesome would it be if fast forward could be applied to real life? What if I could pause a really cool moment that I didn’t want to end?” Such was the central conceit of Adam Sandler’s film Click – a dreadful movie, for sure, but we’d love it if the guys at Google X actually spent some of their time and research funding to find a way to make this thing a reality. Yes, it has the same potential problems as the Delorean (damn you, space-time continuum!) but we remain hopeful that the geniuses at the lab can find a way around that. Maybe it doesn’t even have to be fully functional – we’d settle for a remote where all we can do is “skip” past all the unpleasant stuff in our day – work, dinner with the in-laws, and so on.
No good list is complete without one good bonus pick, so here’s ours from our Managing Editor, Erik Davis:
We've all been at that place where we really wished we could make someone forget an event that probably shouldn't have happened at all. While we could see this mind-erasing device from the Men in Black movies being most useful after one-night-stands, it could also be used by lazy husbands who want their wives to forget just how many times they requested the garbage to be taken out.
If you had a few minutes with the crazy folks over at Google X, what would you ask them to invent next?