Google and the hardware dream: Can it capture the wow factor?

Summary:It remains to be seen is whether Google can a) truly integrate systems like Apple and b) wow customers and partners to bank on the search giant with a showcase.

Robots part of Google's Experience Center?

Google is reportedly building out a hardware testing lab so it can show off cutting edge devices and the art of the possible to partners and customers. What remains to be seen is whether Google can truly capture that wow factor with its top-secret designs.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Google is in the middle of a $120 million construction build out. Much of this buildout is focused on a Google Experience Center. This Center will highlight newfangled devices as well as other exhibits designed to show everything from educational devices to smartphones and consumer electronics. Naturally, all of these devices will be tied into Google.

As noted by the Mercury News, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, HP and a bevy of others have similar centers. The catch with Google is that the company hits multiple interests. Is this experience center designed to show off Motorola wares in the future? Are these ad experiences? Will Android carry the show? Is there enough room to drive a robotic car?

For other companies, these showcases are more straightforward. HP shows off data center designs and converged infrastructure. Microsoft highlighted Surface tables, Kinect and Xbox at some point. IBM talks about the intersection between IT and the real world. Oracle pitches Exadata machines and its derivatives. Google is spread all around. Is the objective here the home or businesses? Can Google's hardware showcase ever overcome that nagging feeling that the search giant will own the customer and the data that goes along with him?

Google has to get into the hardware business because integration is important and all of the company's rivals are already making devices and systems. What remains to be seen is whether Google can a) truly integrate systems like Apple and b) wow customers and partners to bank on the search giant.


Topics: Hardware, Google


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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