Google Labs is a relatively new division within the company, intended to explore the feasibility of new products. In addition to things like a set of augmented reality goggles (which they’d better call Googgles), Labs is also working on blockchain tech.
At least, that’s the word according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows recent reports that Google is interested in getting into the crypto space. This project could be the company’s way in the door.
Google Labs on the block
The new division is supposedly run by Shivakumar Venkataraman, a veteran of the company’s advertising side of things. The group will explore “blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies”, according to the report. What that looks like is anyone’s guess right now, since Google’s not being official about any of it.
Google Labs was founded with the intent of investigating “high-potential, long-term projects”. The eruption of crypto and NFTs in the last few months certainly is an avenue worth exploring, at least in the eyes of Google executives.
But, as Ars Technica points out, it can be difficult to see what point there is adding an energy-intensive blockchain (which is the buzzword for a decentralised database) to… anything, really. It makes a kind of sense for cryptocurrency, but it’d be a terrible idea for, say, most other things. It’s a bulletproof database, sure, but the maintenance and power overheads make it impractical for everyday usage.
Still, if anyone can figure out how to turn the blockchain into something practical and not at all speculative, it’s probably the boffins that populate the Google Labs division. We’ll have more info on the project, when and if it becomes available.