Google Labs' icon

Google Labs is an incubator created by Google to test and publicly demonstrate new projects.

Labs
Project typeExperiment
Funding agencyGoogle
Duration2006 –
Websitelabs.google

The original version was online from early 2002 to mid-2011. Google described Labs as "a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them."[1]

In 2023, Google revived Labs at the annual Google I/O keynote.[2]

Former Google Labs' icon

History

Google Labs Logo
Former Google Labs Logo

Google also used an invitation-only model for users to test Labs products including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Wave, and many of these also have their own "Labs" experimental features and previews. Labs was later removed from Google Calendar.

In 2006, all Google Labs products were presented with a consistent icon, a flask, and a gray title, as opposed to other color-coded Google products, such as Google News and Google Maps.

Discontinuation and revival

In July 2011, Google announced that it was discontinuing Google Labs.[3]

Many of the experiments have been discontinued, although a few have moved to the main search pages or have been integrated into other products. Google still has many links to its defunct "Labs" tools in Google blogs that are readily accessible through a Google search.

In November 2021, the Google Labs brand was revived for an internal group at Google encompassing Google's AR and VR efforts, Area 120, as well as Project Starline.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Google Lab FAQ". Archived from the original on July 26, 2011.
  2. ^ Wilson, Mark (May 10, 2023). "Meet Google's new AI Search. And its feisty alter ego". Fast Company. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  3. ^ "Google Lab closure announcement".
  4. ^ 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.