Over the past several years, Google has slowly expanded their business beyond search and even Web-based technology. While the entire Google brand was initially built on the revolutionary search engine pioneered by Larry Page and Sergey Brin; the transition into email, social media and other areas has mostly proven to be a success for the company. Gmail, Google+ and subsidiary, YouTube, are amongst the most frequently visited and most profitable sites on the Internet. In addition to those entities, Google also developed the immensely popular Chrome browser and Android mobile OS. These and other innovations have helped Google maintain a large percentage of the market share in the Internet tech sector and made many of the company’s properties a target for Internet marketing companies and advertisers. However, some of the company’s newest endeavors have left even the most devout Google supporters concerned.
Until somewhat recently, autonomous cars and augmented reality glasses were considered by many to reside in the realm of science fiction, but Google is currently testing these technologies and plans to make both of them publicly available within the next few years. This apparent shift in priorities may seem unusual for Google, but it is actually a hallmark of the brand. When Page and Brin created the first iteration of the Google Search algorithm, it was a radical departure from every other search engine on the Web at the time. However, the fledgling company grew rapidly when its new approach to search proved to be a “game changer” within the industry.
Google’s other subsequent innovations have also contributed to the brand’s success. However, the company has traditionally been structured around emerging and proven Internet-based industries. There is no existing infrastructure to support self-driving automobiles or Google Glasses, which may be a concern for investors, businesses and marketers which have previously profited from the company’s offerings.
There is already much speculation surrounding the search giant’s plans for the future, but it is too early to tell if Google cars and glasses are going to be viable. It is impossible to predict the future, but history has taught us that the past can be an indicator of things to come. If that proves to be true, “Google watchers” should stay informed on all of the company’s works-in-progress. After all, it wouldn’t be Google’s first time conquering a new and potentially competitive industry.