In sifting through the internet for the next Google innovation, I stumbled on a post from Tony Ruscoe, who uncovered some Google services that might be in the product development pipeline down at Googleplex.
Tony was playing around with the sandbox.google.com sub domain, when he discovered the potential new services. The sub domain has been serving up Google Checkout pages, but after setting up an account, he was able to add a variety of yet to be released services to his account. The “sandbox” domain and accounts are used for development and testing, so not really for public usage.
So what did Tony uncover? Here are the services and some speculation on their purpose.
Could this be a reminder or announcement service? Considering that Google Calendar and Google Base provide similar functionality, it’s debatable whether this will get a release. But when Tony checked it, it resolved to www.google.com/events, so maybe Google have something else in mind.
Well your guess is as good as mine. A quiz, a psychic search engine – not sure at this stage.
Google Online Assessment
This again could have many potential purposes. Whether it’s a customer feedback service or an internal tool for Googlers, time will tell.
Google Real Estate Search
Well the name says it all. Is Google aiming to conquer the international real estate market? This could have real estate portals around the world starting to ponder their future.
The link within the account pointed to Google Translate, so maybe this is a sign of their plans. Tony speculates that it might be related to the statistical machine translation system that Google’s working on.
Google has acquired Writely quite publicly, so this is probably them just testing the free collaborative web word processor and expanding what the service can offer.
Local (AKA Local Business Center)
Google Local, which is now Google Maps, is already public access. So maybe Google is looking to bolster its local offerings for website owners or potentially create a user self control interface.
Mobile & Mobile Marketplace
There’s been no end to the hype and efforts to drive the mobile search revolution. With all the in-roads that Yahoo! have made into mobile via deals with major handset manufacturers, maybe Google are tackling the market from a totally different angle.
New Service (AKA Workplace)
Is this the answer to Microsoft’s Office suite? Tony believes it has something to do with the OpenOffice.org initiatives which are related to IBM’s workplace. If it is, then it could be the development that really shakes Microsoft’s stranglehold on office related software.
This is already well and truly in use. So not too sure what the testing is here. While Google have just released some new features including file sharing, voicemail and a music plug-in, perhaps this is where these new initiatives are being bred.
Google Weaver / M Scrapbook have been hinted at previously. Suggestions are that it could be some kind of Medical Scrapbook. The link was resolving to google.com/h9, so perhaps this is the code name for their new medical innovation.
Google suggest in their FAQ that Google WiFi is a Mountain View community project where residents have access to a free wireless internet service. Could this be the start of a world wide WiFi project? Time will tell.
Well there is a lot of assumption and guesswork in Tony and my suggestions for the new unreleased services above, but considering Google has since removed access to these within the test accounts, one would suggest that they don’t want them up for public scrutiny just yet. Be prepared to see some of these being made available to Google account holders some time soon.
Why not share your suggestions and interpretations of what the services could be…