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Google: No jetpack for you!
The perfectly-named head of the secretive Google X laboratory, Astro Teller, has revealed that the lab worked for some time on creating a personal jetpack “that wasn’t a death trap”, but shelved it due to power efficiency issues.
Apparently, the finished jetpack would have been as loud as a motorcycle, CNET reports. We wouldn’t have minded, Astro!
100 prototypes rejected each year
The lab, which created Google Glass, has also revealed that it rejects at least 100 prototypes each year. Currently being worked on is technology surrounding self-driving cars, contact lenses that monitor glucose in tears and Project Loon, a project that aims to bring Internet access to everyone via a network of stratospheric balloons.
According to a great article by Fast Company, the lab employs more than 250 employees from all backgrounds: “Park rangers, sculptors, philosophers, and machinists; one X scientist has won two Academy Awards for special effects”.
Between them, these minds have designed and rejected, in order of how much we want them, the following concepts:
1. Magnetic Hoverboards
Reason for rejection: Magnets would cause the hoverboards to constantly flip over as you moved from states of magnetic repulsion and attraction.
2. Space Elevators
Reason for rejection: Cables would need to be 100 times stronger than steel. Carbon nanotubes fit the bill, but nobody has been able to make one longer than a meter.
Reason for rejection: Teleportation violates several laws of physics. Shame.
So with no jetpack, hoverboard, space elevator or teleportation, for now we’ll have to make do with computer glasses. Woo!