Google has an incubator that develops interesting products, like the new Uptime app, but now it's allowing anyone to test those efforts.
Called Area 120, the in-house unit not only developed Uptime but also Advr, an experimental project for advertising in VR. Area 120 began in 2016 as a way for Google to attract talent that likes to think outside the box. It then gives them the opportunity to test new ideas that could eventually become official Google products, or at the very least be integrated into existing products.
The unit's name even references Google's rule of allowing employees to work on passion projects during 20 per cent of their work time. Anyway, Area 120 has finally now launched a central website, which anyone can go visit. Not only that, but you can sign up for early access to future Area 120 experiments, projects, apps - whatever they're willing to open up for public feedback.
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Here's how Area 120 described itself:
"We're an experimental program within Google to help small teams rapidly build new products in an entrepreneurial environment. We're where Googlers spend 100 per cent of their time on 20 per cent projects. We build, launch, and iterate on dozens of novel ideas that might otherwise not be explored. Most of these experiments will fail. But our teams succeed when we test the limits and learn something new."
So, to join Area 120's Early Access program, you just need to submit your email, preferred mobile OS, agree to its terms, and that's it. If nothing else, this is a good indication that more Area 120 products are on the way.