Google has been involved and or leaders in many in the most forward-looking technological developments. They are one of the very few companies simultaneously investing in virtual reality, self-driving technology, artificial intelligence, and cloud.
Google invested $542 million in Magic Leap, Dania Beach, a Florida VR/AR startup, and Daydream, a VR platform compatible with Android operating systems; available Nov. 2016
Google has got a huge head start in autonomous vehicles, $90 million so far. It has developed to compete with Uber’s self-driving car project. Google self-driving car project has logged over 1.5 million miles on their autonomous cars. This provides large amount valuable data.
“Self-Driving Car Project” – has invested $90 million so far; plans on making autonomous car unit a stand-alone business under Alphabet, and signed deal with Fiat Chrysler to use autonomous tech in 100 Pacifica minivans. Google has acquired 9 companies, estimated around $1.4 billion, which includes the DNN Research- learns images; DeepMind Technology- British AI company whose product beat the world champion in “Go” (a board game), and API.AI- helps design AI programs (Like Apple’s SIRI).
Google has made 11 cloud acquisitions ($1 billion) to compete with Amazon’s AWS cloud service
Google’s best asset in the long run is its big data collected from all these pioneering projects. At this stage, sky is the limit for Google to cultivate the seemingly limitless applications on the data. Other than directly monetarizing the data (which they are the very few can immediately track your searches few seconds later to your next page of other websites, albeit annoying but enormously effective), it is also limitless to use the data as the base to develop next-generation products.
That being said, Google’s success is also Google’s weakness. Recent Google’s self-drive car crash, albeit bad PR, somewhat illuminates a potential type of problems of being spreading out too much. Diversification is a good thing, however, involving in every aspects of human technological development will dilute the ingeniousness of all of them.
At this stage, Google is not a leader on AI, VR, Cloud, Self-Driving technology.