Since the introduction of Alphabet and the subsequent restructuring of Google into a suite of semi-independent companies, many of these have been gradually dropping the “Google” part of their name to reflect the new structure. Google Ventures became simply GV, for instance, and Google Life Sciences changed its name to Verily. Now, Google X is doing the same, dropping the Google to become just “X.”
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X, now one of the world’s least-Googleable companies, is Alphabet’s semi-secret think tank for “moonshots,” which are projects Alphabet considers to be large-scale and potentially world-changing. Although X has a history of keeping its projects a secret until quite a bit of progress has been made, we know that X has had a hand in Project Self-Driving Car, Project Wing (which was Google’s answer to Amazon Prime Air), the AR-focused Project Glass, and Project Loon – an ambitious plan to bring internet to everyone by attaching wifi routers to weather balloons and distributing them throughout the stratosphere.
X’s new name comes with a fancy new logo as well, a big yellow X that has a Material Design feel. This rebranding seems like it will have little effect on the current workings of X and its ongoing interaction with its own projects and other Alphabet subsidiaries. The simplicity of the name, however, seems like it might cause confusion, so while the company will officially be called X, we expect people to continue calling it Google X for quite some time.
X is up to some pretty crazy stuff, but a lot of their past projects – like one involving a for-real hoverboard or another that intended to build a space elevator – have been trashed for being unfeasible. They were even looking into teleportation before they decided that this violates the laws of physics. What are your thoughts on X’s projects and their new branding? Let us know in the comments below!