Google spares three Area 120 R&D projects
The search giant announces that three of its Area 120 experimental products will live on.
Google has announced that three of its Area 120 experimental products will live on, despite the company shuttering the majority of its in-house incubator earlier this year.
Area 120 was launched in 2016 as a way for Google employees to work on early-stage projects outside of their day-to-day jobs. Many of the projects that have come out of the incubator, such as Supersonic Funnel and Tasty, have been successful and gone on to become full-fledged products.
However, earlier this year, Google announced that it would be shuttering the majority of Area 120 projects as it looks to streamline its R&D efforts.
Now, the company has announced that three projects from Area 120 will be spared: an SEO tool, a team working on a “Gen Z consumer product”, and an AR project.
The SEO tool, called “Google PageSpeed Insights”, is a tool that helps website owners and developers improve the performance of their pages. The team working on the “Gen Z consumer product” is said to be developing a “new take” on a consumer product. And the AR project is an augmented reality tool that allows users to “place digital objects in the real world”.
It’s not clear why these three projects were spared, but it’s likely because they have potential to be successful products. Google has a history of killing off projects that don’t have potential, so the fact that these three are being spared is a good sign.
Are you working on an early-stage project? Let us know in the comments! In May, Google’s Area 120 incubator launched three new projects: Backdrop, Supersonic Funnel, and Bot Sunflower.
Backdrop is a “social media wall” that lets people post photos and videos from their phones to a common area. The project is headed up by Area 120 veteran Max Stahl.
Supersonic Funnel is an automated marketing tool that helps businesses track their marketing campaigns and optimize them for maximum impact. The team is led by Manu Álvarez, who previously worked on AdWords and Google Analytics.
Bot Sunflower is a “Gen Z consumer product” that is being developed by a team of Area 120 veterans. The team is headed by Neel Mehta, who previously worked on Google Now and Inbox by Gmail.
In October, Google announced that it was shutting down three of its Area 120 projects: Dream Lab, Parking Finder, and Grasshopper.
Dream Lab was an app that provided personalized sleep coaching. The team was headed by Area 120 veteran Alex Attinger.
Parking Finder was an app that helped drivers find parking. The team was led by Area 120 veteran Manu Álvarez.
Grasshopper was a project that aimed to make it easy for businesses to get started with chatbots. The team was led by Area 120 veteran Neel Mehta.