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Area 120
Google Area120 logo.webp
Named after100% of time on 20% Projects
FormationMarch 2016
Key people
Bradley Horowitz, Gabor Cselle
Parent organization
Google
Websitearea120.google.com

Area 120 is Google's in-house incubator in which employees work on 20% Project product ideas 100% of the time.[1]

Google's concept of 20% projects has led to many of the company's successes such as Gmail, AdSense, Google News, and Google Cardboard. The Area 120 division was created by Sundar Pichai in March 2016 and has since spawned over 50 projects.[2][1] The objective for the Area 120 program is to incubate products that "graduate" back to Google, where they can become the next billion-user or billion-dollar-revenue products.[1]

In November 2021, the division was reorganized under a new division called Google Labs (unrelated to the defunct service of the same name) along with Google's AR and VR efforts and Project Starline.[3]

Notable products

The program has funded more than 50 different ideas from Google employees. Notable product experiments which have emerged from Area 120 include:

Byteboard spinout

The Byteboard project was spun out from Google into a separate company in Oct 2021.[16] The reason given was that the Byteboard platform used Google employees as human evaluators of candidates for Google competitors, which raised ethical issues.

References

  1. ^ a b c McCracken, Harry (December 3, 2018). "An exclusive look inside Google's in-house incubator Area 120". Fast Company. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "Google Unveils Advr, An Experimental Area 120 Project for Advertising in VR". Customer Experience Magazine. June 30, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Perez, Sarah (November 11, 2021). "Google reorg moves AR, VR, Starline and Area 120 into new 'Labs' team". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Perez, Sarah (June 14, 2021). "Google's AirTable rival, Tables, graduates from beta test to become a Google Cloud product". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Perez, Sarah (March 30, 2021). "Google's Area 120 launches Stack, an app that digitizes personal docs and extracts key information". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  6. ^ Singh, Manish; Kene-Okafor, Tage (February 23, 2021). "Area 120 is beginning to use Google's massive reach to scale HTML5 GameSnacks platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  7. ^ Vincent, James (June 19, 2020). "Google quietly launches an AI-powered Pinterest rival named Keen". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  8. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (July 17, 2019). "Google's Area 120 launches Byteboard to improve technical interviews". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Heater, Brian (March 18, 2021). "Google Area 120's ThreadIt is bite-size video for team collaborations". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Hetting, Claus (September 8, 2021). "Google's new 'Orion WiFi' empowers public venues to make money on Wi-Fi offload". WiFi Now. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Perez, Sarah (July 16, 2020). "Google's latest R&D project is Shoploop, a mobile video shopping platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  12. ^ Plautz, Jessica (September 6, 2018). "Easily Find the Best Activities in Top Destinations With This New Tool Out of Google". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  13. ^ Poojary, Lax (October 22, 2019). "Touring Bird lands with Google to plan your perfect trip". The Keyword. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  14. ^ Perez, Sarah (January 29, 2020). "Google's Area 120 launches Tangi, a short-form video app focused on creativity and DIY". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  15. ^ Perez, Sarah (June 28, 2017). "Google unveils Advr, an experimental Area 120 project for advertising in VR". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  16. ^ Perez, Sarah (October 5, 2021). "Technical interview platform Byteboard spins out of Google's Area 120, takes on new funding". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 5, 2021.