Sidewalk Crumbling? Google’s Got a Fix For That

sidewalk, googleNothing is more frustrating (or embarrassing) than tripping on a cracked sidewalk. Now, Google wants to make sure you don’t have to worry about it in the future.

Say hello to Sidewalk Labs. In an effort to improve urban life, Google has created Sidewalk Labs to improve cities through more affordable housing, better public transportation, and then some.

“Sidewalk will focus on improving city life for everyone by developing and incubating urban technologies to address issues like cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage,” wrote Google’s Larry Page on his Google Plus page on June 10.

The initiative will be led by Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg and the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York. Page said that Google’s investment in the project is “relatively modest,” but what other out-of-the-box initiatives is the company working on? Let’s take a look at some of the Google projects you might not have heard of yet:

  • Calico - Calico is Google’s side project dedicated to understanding biology and health on a larger scale. The company is focused on ensuring we all live a little bit longer in the future.
  • Moonshots - This is what Google X is working on, led by Astro Teller. “Moonshots” are concepts dedicated to propelling technology 10 years ahead. Think aiming high and bracing for failure.
  • Loon - Project Loon is based on situating balloons on the edge of space to fill Internet connectivity gaps around the world. Internet for everyone!
  • Manaki - Google is creating energy kites, also known as floating wind turbines, to generate strong, steady winds. In short, we’ll all have a more environmentally friendly source of energy.
  • Fi - Tired of paying for data you don’t end up using on your smartphone? Google is well aware, and it’s created Fi as a solution to the problem. The service (in conjunction with T-Mobile and Sprint) only requires you to pay for the data you use.

If you still think that Google doesn’t rule the world, just wait and see. Some of this technology may soon revolutionize the way you connect to the Web, maintain your health and save on utility bills. It might not feel good to be “controlled” by one big company, but if it yields this many benefits, why not?


  • Page, Larry. Google Plus. June 10, 2015.
  • Weinberger, Matt. “These are all of Google’s weird science projects we know about.” Business Insider. June 10, 2015.

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