This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Here's What Google Is Working on Next

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG - Get Report) announced last week it was working on a smart contact lens, trying to help people with diabetes by measuring glucose levels in tears using a wireless chip. Sounds pretty futuristic, huh? Not at all, if you know anything about physics.

Google has been pretty busy lately, with its own projects and acquiring those of others. The company is working on driverless cars and Google Glass, and recently announced it was buying Nest, the smart smoke alarm and thermostat company, for $3.2 billion in cash.

In Physics of the Future, author Michio Kaku maps out some of the these things. To give away the book would do it a disservice, but I can tell you that Kaku predicted that glasses and contact lenses would be connected to the Internet. He also predicted cars would become driverless, all projects Google already is working on.  (Disclosure: I've read Physics of the Future for my own knowledge, but haven't reviewed it).

Google is working on these plans via Google X, the company's secret facility led by Google's co-founder Sergey Brin that works on top-secret projects. Google noted that it's in talks with the Food and Drug Administration on the contact lens project and there's plenty of more work to do, both from Google and others.

"We're not going to do this alone: We plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market," the company said in a blog post. The company also said Google X seeks "... out projects that seem a bit speculative or strange, and at a time when the International Diabetes Federation (PDF) is declaring that the world is 'losing the battle' against diabetes, we thought this project was worth a shot."

Though Google is garnering lots of publicity surrounding the smart contact lens, it's not the only company to have worked on one. Microsoft (MSFT) worked on a functional contact lens a couple of years ago. Babak Parviz, the co-founder of Google's smart contact lens initiative, worked on the same project for Microsoft.



There are other companies that have tried to approach the non-invasive glucose monitoring market, to no avail.  Fovioptics, worked on something similar, developing
a non-invasive glucose monitor that read blood glucose level by shining a light into a patient's eye. Ultimately, the company decided there was no market for this, shut down, and returned money to investors.

Even if Google is successful, it's going to be expensive, notes David Kliff, publisher of the Diabetic Investor newsletter. "I can't imagine the regulatory mess from this," Kliff said in a phone interview. "Even if you can get it to work, which by no means is a certainty, the regulatory path is at least two years, maybe longer."

With the advent of the microchip, technology has become faster, more powerful and cheaper, due primarily to Moore's Law. Moore's Law, which comes from Intel's (INTC - Get Report) co-founder Gordon Moore, states that the the number of transistors on circuits will double approximately every two years, making technology more powerful than it was just a few short years ago.

Interestingly enough, Kaku noted that eventually chips will cease to continue doubling in power, due to the nature of Moore's Law. But that's still years away.

Google X, much to no one's surprise, could not be reached for this story.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
GOOG $630.38 -1.13%
INTC $28.42 2.50%
AAPL $113.29 0.33%
FB $91.01 1.43%
TSLA $248.50 2.30%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 +1.21 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,828.3250 +15.6170 0.32%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs