In its bid to stop Google employees from leaving the company and begin their own ventures, Indian-born top executive Sundar Pichai has announced the company plans to set up a startup incubator within Google.
According to Forbes, the incubator, dubbed ‘Area 120’, is a new approach – part incubator and part new take on the spirit of the 20 per cent time programme.
“Google has allowed its engineers and other employees to spend a day a week (or 20 per cent time) on side projects,” the report added.
Technology blog The Information reported recently that the incubator will be supervised by Google executives Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz.
“We’ve always had a strong interest from within Google for people to go work on new things and have developed many of our products internally that way,” Pichai told Forbes.
Google may invest in some of the projects that are born out of Area 120 into independent companies.
Earlier, taking on intelligent virtual friends like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, Pichai announced ‘Google Assistant’ which will help you with daily tasks like booking movie tickets and much more.
Pichai also unveiled ‘Google Home’ – a voice-activated product that brings Google Assistant to any room in your house, a new messaging app called ‘Allo’ and video calling feature ‘Duo’ as the company kicked off ‘Google I/O’, its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California, this week.
The Google Assistant is conversational – an ongoing two-way dialogue between you and Google that understands your world and helps you get things done.
“It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that perfect restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the movie starts, and then help you navigate to the theater. It’s a Google for you, by you,” Pichai wrote in a blog post.
Google also previewed ‘Android Wear 2.0’, including a revamped user experience and stand alone apps that run right on the watch, no matter where your phone is or even if it is off.
“Finally, we’re introducing Android Instant Appsa”which let you run Android apps instantly, without requiring installation,” Pichai said.