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Technology Playground: Google Labs

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” To this end, Google showcases some prototypes and products in development on the Google Labs, the web site of Google’s research group.

Visit Google Labs’ home page at labs.google.com.

Screen shot of Google Labs, which showcases a few of its favorite ideas that aren't quite ready for prime time.

Note: Google Labs updates its site periodically. So you may find prototypes or demos different from the ones shown here.

In the Parts Query Input and Understanding Results, we mention graduates of Google Labs, services and tools that have been refined and made available through Google’s home page.

Google will likely refine some of these demos and make them available through Google’s home page. If you want to become part of Google’s development process, try out these prototypes and provide feedback to the engineers who developed them.

In this final page of Services, we describe a Google Labs’ prototype search tool:

Google Sets

Google Sets - labs.google.com/sets - automatically creates sets of items from a few examples.

Enter a few items from a set of things. Then press the Large Set button or the Small Set button and Google Sets will try to predict other items in the set. For example, if you enter Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, and Coit Tower, Google Sets suggests other places worth visiting in San Francisco.

Enter a few items from a set of things in Google sets.
Enter a few items from a set of things in Google sets.

Use Google sets to suggest: people who might share interests with you, places to visit, books to read, movies to see, synonyms, food you might enjoy, stores where you can buy a particular type of item, etc.

Exercises

These problems give you practice in using Google Labs prototypes and demos.

  1. Visit Google Labs. Try two of the prototypes and demos that are listed on the site.
  2. Get suggestions for books by entering some of your favorite authors or titles and asking Google Sets to predict other members of the set.
  3. Enter some of your favorite movies and see if Google Sets recommends either movies you haven’t seen or other of your favorite movies.

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This page was last modified on: Sunday August 31, 2008

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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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