Google Labs: An Obituary

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] On July 20, 2011, Google Labs passed away from a mysterious disease known as “Focus-itis.”  Numerous lesser Google projects have lost their lives to this illness, including Google Health and Google PowerMeter. Fans are also reeling from the demise of Google Toolbar on Firefox 5, although coroners are speculating that Mr. Toolbar passed away from Chrome-fluenza.  Although we mourn the untimely departure of all wonderful Google products, I would like to take a moment to remember the impact that Google Labs had on the lives of both Google products and Google users alike.

Continue reading as we celebrate the life of Google Labs: a quirky innovator and loving parent.

An innovator, a friend, and a parent.

An Innovator

Google Labs was born in May 2002, and since youth it was destined for greatness.  Google Labs always dreamed of becoming an inventor, and its early experiments produced a wide variety of fruitful innovations: Google Alerts, Google Groups, Google SMS, Google Desktop, Google Suggest, and Google Scholar were all created in 2004 alone.  Patent searchers still utilize Google Scholar today for locating non-patent literature prior art.

Google Labs was for many years a driving force of creativity in the Google family, nurturing several ground-breaking products like Google Video and Google Maps.  Google Labs truly valued the  magnificence of science, and it aimed to share new visions of the world with us through creations like Google Body and Google Mars.  Google Labs let us visit new worlds and explore the hidden world within our own bodies through its products.  Just because Google Labs was a science lover doesn’t mean it also wasn’t an enthusiast of the arts: just look at its products Art Project or India Music Search.  In its final years, Google Labs focused on creating apps; it even created a product to help users invent their own Android apps.  Google Labs was both an innovator and collaborator: it worked diligently for the past decade to provide users with creative, groundbreaking projects to test and critique, and it even provided us with tools to create our own inventions.

A Parent

The experiments of Google Labs were more than just its inventions; they were its children.  Google Labs has 56 surviving experiments, many of which are for now still residing in Google Labs’ old home.  Google’s official announcement of Google Labs’ death unfortunately confirmed that many of the Google Lab experiments are also afflicted with Focus-itis, and the Google Labs homepage will eventually shut down, along with the doomed experiments.  There is a silver lining, though: many of Google Labs’ Android apps will continue to live on in the Android Market.  Some experiments have also grown in to full-fledged Google products and will live on as a testament to the creativity of Google Labs.  Any time you use Google Maps or Google Scholar, remember where they started.

Google Labs is also survived by several siblings, including Calender Labs and Gmail Labs.

Read about Google Labs’ patent-related relative, Google Patents, over on the Intellogist site.

Rest in peace, sweet Google Labs.

Share your fondest memories of Google Labs in the comments!

Patent Searches from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: