News > Google
Category: Google | Jun 12, 2015
LeBron and Steph. Marge and Homer. Matt and Sweat. These duos had people searching this week. Read on for more:
Two prisoners made headlines this week after escaping from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. People are coming to Google to learn how the two broke out of the prison and about the status of the manhunt, which is still ongoing. In addition to more than 100K searches each for [prison escape] and the facility itself, people are asking questions like “How often do prisoners escape?” and “How many prison escapes are there per year?” The incident has also sparked interest in other prison escape tales; search interest in “The Shawshank Redemption” spiked 8X in the past week. And in happier, more fictional prison news, Netflix dropped the third season of “Orange is the New Black” six hours early yesterday, leading to a jump of 500,000K searches for the hit show.
Next, the NBA Finals are heating up as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are now tied at two games apiece, and searchers can’t get enough. There were more than 2 million searches for the Finals on Saturday, when the Cavs beat the Warriors in Game 2, and another 5 million when the Warriors went down 2-1 in Game 3 as people looked for scores, news, and players. There were more than 500K searches on Thursday for LeBron James, who got stitches after colliding with a cameraman during the game. Meanwhile, league MVP and Warriors point guard Steph Curry has been a hot topic on Search throughout the playoffs, but as his performance in the Finals faltered in the first few games, search interest in several of his teammates has risen. People have been looking for info about Curry’s fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson and about Andre Iguodala, who started his first game of the season on Thursday and may have poked some fun at LeBron James in the process.
Off the court and onto the pitch, it’s also a great time to be a soccer fan, between the Champions League final, the Copa America, and the Women’s World Cup. The latter drew more than 5 million searches on Saturday alone, and as the U.S. faced off against Australia Monday, interest was high in players like Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux. Finally, we’d be remiss to write about sports this week without mentioning the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, American Pharoah, who won the Belmont Stakes last weekend and ran home with a million searches in the bargain.
Change is in the air
Beyonce was trending this week after revealing that she has adopted a vegan diet on Good Morning America. Many of Queen Bey’s fans were disappointed that her announcement was about her eating habits, and not the release of a new album or baby #2. Giving up cheese would be hard enough. But this week pop culture fans confronted the potential loss of something else dear: the long-running (fictional) marriage between Homer and Marge Simpson. With the 27th season of “The Simpsons” on deck in the fall, the show’s executive producer had hinted that TV’s longest-running couple might separate. Amidst the outrage and worry, searchers turned to the web to ask “Why are the Simpsons getting divorced?” Luckily, it seems the rumors are just that—the show cleared the air on Twitter and in chalk.
Tip of the week
Keep up with Hope, Alex and the rest of the Women’s World Cup on your phone. To get updates on all the matches, just open the Google app and click Customize (Settings in iOS) → Sports → Add a team. Goooaaalll!
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [flights from sfo to lhr] and [izombie max rager utopium]
Category: Google | Jun 12, 2015
As a kid, I spent hours on the living room couch playing video games with friends, taking turns trying to beat Ganon in “Ocarina of Time” and trading Pokémon until I had all 151. Soon controller passing and Game Boy link cables gave way to network multiplayer and PC LAN parties. Eventually, my living room became a virtual one, with a network of gamers sharing experiences and discoveries.
Today, the gaming world is much more diverse than the one I grew up with, and the community has created new formats that have made gaming more collaborative and interactive. On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let’s plays, walkthroughs, and speedruns to cooking and music videos. Now, it’s our turn to return the favor with something built just for gamers.
This summer, we’ll launch YouTube Gaming, a brand new app and website to keep you connected to the games, players, and culture that matter to you, with videos, live streams, and the biggest community of gamers on the web—all in one place.
YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else. From “Asteroids” to “Zelda,” more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You’ll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators.
Keeping up with these games and channels is now super easy, too. Add a game to your collection for quick access whenever you want to check up on the latest videos. Subscribe to a channel, and you’ll get a notification as soon as they start a live stream. Uncover new favorites with recommendations based on the games and channels you love. And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing “call” will show you “Call of Duty” and not “Call Me Maybe.”
Live streams bring the gaming community closer together, so we’ve put them front-and-center on the YouTube Gaming homepage. And in the coming weeks, we’ll launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast your gameplay to YouTube. On top of existing features like high frame rate streaming at 60fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video, we’re redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time. We’re also creating single link you can share for all your streams.
YouTube Gaming will be available this summer, starting in the U.S. and U.K. We’re building this just for gamers—so we want to hear from you about how we can make it the best way to connect with your community. If you’re at E3 next week, come by our booth for an early look at everything we’ve been working on. If not, tune in live from home at youtube.com/e3, head over to gaming.youtube.com and follow us @YouTubeGaming and you’ll be the first to know when YouTube Gaming is ready for you to play with.
Posted by Alan Joyce, Product Manager
Category: Google | Jun 5, 2015
From a seriously groundbreaking “Vanity Fair” cover model to a sporting trifecta, see what the Internet was searching for this week.
“Call me Caitlyn”
Caitlyn Jenner topped the trends this week, with more than 10 million searches since she introduced herself to the world on Monday with a “Vanity Fair” cover story. Her high-profile transition has put Jenner at the center of an active national dialogue about transgender equality and rights. The news dominated headlines and news feeds for several days—in fact, searches for Jenner were nearly seven times higher than than searches for Kim Kardashian, who announced her second pregnancy with husband Kanye West over the weekend.
Remembering Beau Biden
Another well-known family shared the search spotlight this week, although for very different reasons. Beau Biden, Delaware attorney general and son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer on May 30. Searches for news about his life and death topped 100,000 ahead of memorial services held in his honor on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
All the sports
With the NBA and Stanley Cup finals underway, and the Women’s World Cup set to kick off over the weekend, it was a particularly sports-heavy week on search. People wanted to know where and when to tune in for the NBA games, and while “How many times has Lebron James been to the finals” was one of the top questions, searches for Warriors star Steph Curry were higher than searches for James in nearly every state.
On the hockey front, the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently lead the series 1-0, are also dominating the search trends over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, soccer fans are heading to Google to search for Women’s World Cup teams and players as they await to see who emerges from the tournament’s group-stage.
It may not be June 21 yet, but school is out, temperatures are up and Memorial Day weekend is practically a distant memory. Summer is here, and for everyone looking to get out of town, Southwest Airlines had just the thing: a 72-hour sale. With plane tickets at less than $100, turns out too many people wanted to get out of town—traffic from would-be travelers crashed Southwest’s website for two days, while searches about the sale and the site topped 500,000.
Tip of the Week
No time to watch the game this weekend? Find out what you missed—just ask the Google app, “Who won the Warriors game?” to get box scores, video highlights and more.
Posted by Megan Slack, who searched this week for [Biden photo gallery] and [can you make fried rice in the microwave].
Category: Google | Jun 5, 2015
There’s no question the world is wild about football. Last year, we watched in awe of the 2.1 billion search queries related to the World Cup. And regardless of whether it’s a tournament year, football (or soccer if you please) crushes the competition as the most-searched sport worldwide.
But here’s something that surprised us: the world searches three times more for girls’ soccer (and football) than for boys’ soccer—yet, only 1 percent of global searches for professional soccer are for women’s teams, while the other 99 percent are for men’s teams. That’s not for a lack of amazing performance on the field by women athletes—rather, it’s because women’s sports have historically been paid less attention than men’s. For instance, women’s football was banned by the English FA (and other European organizations) until the 1970s, and it didn’t become an Olympic sport until 1996.
We care deeply about inspiring the next generation of girls to become leaders—whether they’re in the technology field or on the soccer pitch. So we got to thinking about how Search can help people discover all the amazing stories of women’s soccer that have historically been overlooked. During the 2015 Women’s World Cup, we’ll share search trends, stats and more to help you get to know these athletes and their talents on the field.
Here’s how to follow along and cheer on the remarkable women of pro soccer:
Check out our homepage Doodle. Today’s Doodle celebrates the start of the Cup. Check back for more as the tournament progresses.
Follow the tournament in search. Search for [womens world cup 2015] on your Android phone to get brackets, game times and updated scores.
Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ to find out more about women’s soccer, its history, rising stars and the major trending moments during the tournament. Google Search can also help you discover more about women’s football, past and present. For instance, try asking the Google App “when was the first Women’s World Cup held?” The answer may surprise you.
That’s just the start—we’re also teaming up with official sponsor Adidas to share more from the players throughout the tournament. See you at the games!
Posted by Madeline Kane, Social Impact Team
Category: Google | Jun 1, 2015
We’ve all been there at some point or another…
You just lost your phone and want to wipe your personal information.
You attend an event, and you want to share your photos with some people (but not everyone).
You hesitate as you download another app that’s asking for a lot of information.
Everyday, we make choices that affect our privacy and security online. Most people, however, don’t feel they have the right level of control to make these important decisions. According to a recent Pew study, 93 percent of people think it’s important to control access to their personal information, and 90 percent care about the type of information that’s collected about them. But only 9 percent feel they have “a lot” of control over it. We want to change that.
Google builds simple, powerful privacy and security tools that keep your information safe and put you in control of it. At Google I/O, we announced that people will have more control over the information they provide to mobile apps in the M release, the next version of Android. Today, we’re rolling out two significant improvements to our privacy and security tools: a new hub for managing your Google settings called My Account, and a new site that answers important questions about privacy and security on Google.
Privacy and security controls, all in one place
Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin: if your information isn’t secure, it certainly can’t be private. My Account gives you quick access to the settings and tools that help you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide what information is used to make Google services work better for you. It also provides more context to help you understand your options and make the right choices for you.
Here are some of the things you can do with My Account:
- Take the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, our simple, step-by-step guides through your most important privacy and security settings.
- Manage the information that can be used from Search, Maps, YouTube and other products to enhance your experience on Google. For example, you can turn on and off settings such as Web and App Activity, which gets you more relevant, faster search results, or Location History, which enables Google Maps and Now to give you tips for a faster commute back home.
- Use the Ads Settings tool to control ads based on your interests and the searches you’ve done.
- Control which apps and sites are connected to your account.
We built My Account to be a resource for everyone, even if you don’t have a Google Account. Check out your controls at myaccount.google.com.
Answering your questions about privacy and security
We listen to feedback from people around the world to better understand their concerns about privacy and security. In addition to My Account, we want to help people find answers to common questions on these topics, such as: “What data does Google collect? What does Google do with the data it collects? What tools do I have to control my Google experience?”
Our new site, privacy.google.com, candidly answers these questions, and more. We also explain how we show relevant ads without selling your personal information, how encryption and spam filtering help keep your data safe, and how your information helps customize your experience on Google. Visit this site often to learn about new tools, features, and information that can help you make the choices that are right for you.
When you trust your personal information with us, you should expect powerful controls that keep it safe and private as well as useful answers to your questions. Today’s launches are just the latest in our ongoing efforts to protect you and your information on Google. There’s much more to come, and we look forward to your feedback.
Posted by Guemmy Kim, Product Manager, Account Controls and Settings
Category: Google | May 29, 2015
From corruption charges rocking the football world to a 50-foot dinosaur, here’s a look at what everyone was searching this week:
Deadly storms in Texas
Widespread flooding caused by heavy rains in Texas and Oklahoma has left many dead, missing or unaccounted for, along with seriously damaged property and abandoned vehicles. With more severe weather predicted this weekend, cities across Texas topped the places searching for “storms,” with “How long does it take for streets to clear a flood?” and “where is it flooded in Houston” among the top storm-related questions.
Football’s governing body was in the search spotlight this week after the arrest of several FIFA officials in a dawn raid at a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. There were more than half a million “FIFA” searches on Tuesday alone, with a top related question being the basic “What is FIFA?” (perhaps for those that call it “soccer”). Just as fans of “The Beautiful Game” span the globe, so do searches related to this week’s alleged ugliness. Costa Rica and Uruguay—home to two of the indicted officials—are among the top 10 countries searching for #FIFAarrests.
Hold on to your butts … again
It’s a Jurassic World. We just live in it. Twenty-two years after the original “Jurassic Park” movie, the release of “Jurassic World” is set to wow audiences worldwide, and ticket pre-sales and general dino-excitement have caused a 100,000+ search spike, while the trailer has topped 60 million YouTube views. Search-wise, the U.S. and Australia are most excited about the blockbuster, which will pit star Chris Pratt against a 50-foot-tall dinosaur named Indominus Rex. We’ll have to wait until June for the showdown, but based on current search interest, our money’s on Pratt.
Tip of the week
This weekend is Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with Manhattan’s street grid. Whether you’re in New York or not, you can find out when the sun will dip below the horizon with a simple “Ok Google, when does the sun set?” You’ll get an answer tailored for your location.
Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched, a little indignantly, this week for [why do babies say “dada” first?]
Category: Google | May 29, 2015
Every adventure starts somewhere, and YouTube’s began on Saturday, April 23, 2005, when “Me at the Zoo” became the first video uploaded to a new site no one had ever heard of. Captured at California’s San Diego Zoo, the clip is a 19-second description of what exactly makes elephants so cool. Its brief runtime and casual setup suggest little of the online video craziness that would follow over the subsequent decade.
But it turns out “Me at the Zoo” proved to be a simple distillation of the premise of the new platform, where anyone could just turn on a camera and broadcast themselves with ease. Who could have predicted that, in that same environment, new genres, new forms of expression, and new paths to stardom would evolve? That engaging and unique personalities borne of this place could be more influential than Hollywood’s biggest names? Or that more than a billion people from all corners of the globe would come together in that space to experience what the world creates, broadcasts, and shares?
Yeah. We were surprised, too.
For our 10th birthday this month, we’ve gone from A to Z celebrating the adorable, empowering, awesome, weird and wonderful moments that represent the many sides of YouTube. But, of course, if we’re really going to capture 10 years of YouTube, we’re going to need to do it in … a video:
Thanks for a wild and inspiring 10 years. Now, you’ve got 300 hours of video to capture and share in the next minute. So get back to it!
**Bonus Points: How well do you know YouTube, A to Z? Play the YouTube trivia game to find out at YouTube.com/10.
Posted by the YouTube Team
Category: Google | May 28, 2015
This morning, more than 6,000 developers descended on San Francisco’s Moscone Center to burn through 1,500 gallons of coffee and join millions of others via live stream for our 8th annual Google I/O—a time to fill people in on what we’ve been building recently, and how we’re tackling the future.
Android growth and momentum
In just a short number of years, mobile technology has completely changed the way we find information and entertainment, communicate with friends and family, and get things done. Having a supercomputer in our pocket is now second nature; today more searches on Google come from mobile than from desktop computers, and by some estimates there are more mobile devices than there are people on the planet. For evidence of the mobile revolution, look no further than the growth of Android. There are now more than one billion Android users worldwide—a long way from when we launched the first Android phone back in 2008. And there are 4,000 unique Android devices on the market, from more than 400 manufacturers and over 500 carriers.
The devices themselves have changed a lot, too. In today’s multi-screen world, you can now use Android on your phone, your tablet, your wrist, in your car and in your living room, and move seamlessly between each. Many of these new form factors have arrived just in the last year. You can now choose from seven different Android Wear watches, not to mention bands, styles, and more than 1,500 watch faces built by developers.
By the end of this year, 35 car models will offer Android Auto, helping you access Search, Maps, music and other information through your car’s controls. And the first sets running Android TV have now arrived.
With all of these new places and devices for people to use Android, developers have even more opportunities to build the apps that people use for education and engagement and entertainment. So today we talked about the new tools and features we’re giving them to build more powerful experiences on the Android platform.
M is for more performance and an improved user experience
Android M is the most powerful Android release yet, with hundreds of improvements made to the platform. Among the highlights, we’ve improved battery life and streamlined permissions for apps to make it easier for you to decide what information the apps on your phone can use. We previewed Android Pay, which lets you pay for things with your phone, without even opening an app. And we’re making it much easier to find information in apps, as well as making some important updates to Google Now (more on that below!).
Organizing the world’s information, better
Your mobile phone packs a lot of information, but it’s not always easy to find that nugget of information when you need it—as you know if you’ve ever tried to navigate your email, organize hundreds of photos across devices, or search for restaurant reviews when you’re chatting about dinner plans with friends. Luckily, finding and organizing information is something Google is good at (some might even call it our mission).
So as part of M release, we’re expanding Google Now to give people on-demand assistance in the moment they need it—like seeing if there’s an open table at a new restaurant or when and where “Pitch Perfect 2” is playing—no matter where you are on your phone. We’re also making it much easier to find new apps and in-app content—which is good news for both users and developers.
We’ve also put our years of research into machine learning to work in other ways, making Search more useful and your inbox more insightful. And now it’s also helping you make sense of all your photos. Today we launched a new Photos app that gives you a single place for all your photos and videos, and helps you sort through them more quickly, bring them to life in cool new ways, and share them however you choose.
A new platform for the Internet of Things
We’re surrounded by devices, but they often exist independently of each other. Our day-to-day lives will be much simpler when these technologies can talk to each other—if our recipe app, for example, could communicate with our smart oven to turn the temperature to exactly the right setting. Or outside the home—from transportation systems that notify commuters of schedule changes, to farms where harvesters and irrigation systems are controlled from phones.
But many roadblocks remain—the user experience is inconsistent and confusing, manufacturers often redo their work for every device, devices don’t interoperate, and developers often have no way to create great experiences across devices.
Enter Project Brillo, a new platform derived from Android that lets developers and manufacturers build connected devices. As part of Brillo, we’re introducing a communications protocol (Weave) developed in partnership with Nest, a set of developer APIs, a core set of schemas and a certification program to ensure device and app interoperability.
Although it will launch later this year, we previewed Brillo today because we’re committed to fostering a vibrant ecosystem in which we all work together to move the industry forward.
New mobile experiences
Mobile has evolved so much in the past few years, with connected screens for different experiences depending on your needs. But we are just at the start of what will prove to be a much more immersive mobile experience. At last year’s I/O we introduced Cardboard, which lets you turn your phone into a virtual reality experience. Now there are more than 500 Cardboard apps for film, games, tours and learning, and more than 1 million Cardboard viewers have been shipped. Today we announced iOS support for developers and debuted Google Expeditions, which lets students take virtual trips with Cardboard to places like the moon and underwater. We also shared a preview of Jump, which lets you capture the world in video that you can step inside of.
The next billion users
The first billion users of the Internet came online through desktops. The next billion are taking a different path to computing—coming online through mobile and smartphones—and present a unique set of opportunities and challenges. We’re working hard on ensure these people have a great experience across our products.
In addition to making devices more affordable with Chromebooks and Android One (now in seven countries), we’re making changes to ensure that our software works even where there aren’t great Internet connections. We’ve launched a streamlined version of our Search results page in 13 countries, and 73 million people now use data saver mode in Chrome to browse the web more efficiently. Finally, we previewed the new offline maps—that’s right, and it’s as simple as it sounds—maps that you can take offline, even with turn-by-turn directions.
Solving complex problems for a mobile world
From our earliest days in Search, our aim has always been to build products for everyone, applying unique technical insight to tackle big problems. That’s just as relevant in today’s mobile-centric world—from finding the information scattered across apps, to helping someone organize and share the photos of their kids; from taking people on a virtual trip to the Pyramids to helping the next billion people come online.
And by providing a platform on top of which any developer can innovate, we can reach people around the world and put the power of the Internet in their hands—no matter what device they use, where they live or who they are.
So here’s to the mobile revolution. We can’t wait to see what comes next.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Products
Category: Google | May 28, 2015
Every second of every day, people around the world are capturing their memories through photos and videos. Humankind has already taken trillions of photos and will take another trillion this year alone.
But the more moments we capture, the more challenging it becomes to relive those memories. Photos and videos become littered across mobile devices, old computers, hard drives and online services (which are constantly running out of space). It’s almost impossible to find that one photo right at the moment you need it, and sharing a bunch of photos at once is frustrating, often requiring special apps and logins.
We wanted to do better. So today we’re introducing Google Photos—a new, standalone product that gives you a home for all your photos and videos, helps you organize and bring your moments to life, and lets you share and save what matters.
A home for all your photos and videos
Google Photos gives you a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device. They’re automatically backed up and synced, so you can have peace of mind that your photos are safe, available across all your devices.
And when we say a lifetime of memories, we really mean it. With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution. For all the storage details, visit our help center.
Organize and bring your moments to life
Google Photos automatically organizes your memories by the people, places, and things that matter. You don’t have to tag or label any of them, and you don’t need to laboriously create albums. When you want to find a particular shot, with a simple search you can instantly find any photo—whether it’s your dog, your daughter’s birthday party, or your favorite beach in Santa Barbara. And all of this auto-grouping is private, for your eyes only.
The app can also help you quickly enhance photos and combine them in new ways to help you relive your life’s moments. In one tap, get instant adjustments tuned to the photo’s color, lighting, and subject to make each photo look its best. Press the “+” button to create your own collages, animations, movies with soundtracks, and more.
If you swipe to the left, you’ll open the Assistant view, where we’ll suggest new things made with your photos and videos, such as a collage or a story based on a recent trip you took. After previewing the creation, you can choose to keep, edit, or discard it.
Easily share and save what matters
With Google Photos, you have the choice to share your photos and videos however you want across any service you choose, from Hangouts to Twitter to WhatsApp. But even then, it’s still remarkably difficult to share a lot of photos just with friends and family and keep the ones shared with you—it usually involves a lot of downloading and re-uploading across a number of different services. We wanted to make sharing much simpler and more reliable.
You can now take any set of photos and videos, or any album, and simply create a link to share hundreds of photos at once. The recipient can see what you shared without a special app or login, then immediately save the high-quality images to their own library with a single tap. So now it’s easier to hang on to the photos you care about even if you weren’t the one holding the camera.
If you want to give Google Photos a whirl, it will be available later today across Android, iOS and the web. With this launch we’ve made a lot of progress towards eliminating many of the frustrations involved in storing, editing and sharing your memories. But we have a lot more in store—so as you keep snapping photos and capturing videos, we’ll keep working on making them even easier to store, share and bring to life.
Posted by Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos
Category: Google | May 26, 2015
When Laura Palmaro was 10 years old, she woke one morning to find that the central vision in her left eye had all but disappeared. She was not ill and had no genetic issues—it was completely out of the blue. When she was 14, the same rare condition struck her right eye, and she began her freshman year of high school legally blind. Suddenly she was forced to depend on other people to read everything aloud, from school assignments to menus. The toughest part, according to Laura, was losing her sense of independence—and not knowing when or how she would get it back.
Laura has since adopted technological solutions to her vision challenges, using a combination of screen-readers and magnification software to read, work and more. Now a program manager at Google, she is following her passion, helping Chrome and Chrome OS teams make their products more accessible. “Technology has truly transformed my life,” she says. “Assistive technology can tear down boundaries, and empower people to find their independence and fulfill their dreams.”
We agree with Laura about the power of technology to change lives. And in order to support more people like her—people who see obstacles as opportunities—we’re launching the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. We’re putting $20 million in Google.org grants behind nonprofits using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities, and today we’re issuing an open call to identify new areas of opportunity at g.co/ImpactChallengeDisability.
We’re kicking things off with support for two remarkable organizations. Each of these organizations is using technology to dramatically reduce the cost of and access to prosthetic limbs and auditory therapy, respectively—which could be transformative for hundreds of millions of people.
- The Enable community connects people who want prosthetics with volunteers who use 3D printers to design, print, assemble, and fit them, for free. This dramatically cuts costs, increases speed of distribution, and meets unmet needs. We’ll support the Enable Community Foundation’s efforts with a $600,000 grant to advance the design, distribution and delivery of open-source 3D-printed upper-limb prosthetics.
- Diagnosing auditory challenges can be a struggle in low income communities—the equipment is expensive, bulky and unrealistic, particularly in the developing world. With our support, and a $500,000 grant, World Wide Hearing will develop, prototype and test an extremely low cost tool kit for hearing loss using smartphone technology that’s widely available—and affordable—in the developing world.
The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious “what ifs” for the disabled community. We will choose the best of these ideas and help them to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying our people and by mobilizing our resources in support of their missions.
But of course, we realize there’s always room to improve our products as well. We have a team committed to monitoring the accessibility of Google tools; and we provide engineering teams with training to incorporate accessibility principles into products and services. That doesn’t just mean improving existing Google tools, it means developing new ones as well. For example, Liftware is a stabilizing utensil designed to help people with hand tremors eat more easily, and self-driving cars could one day transform mobility for everyone.
Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive, and limited to assisting with one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change. Thanks to groups like Enable and World Wide Hearing, and with tools like Liftware, we’re starting to see the potential for technologies that can profoundly and affordably impact millions. But we’ll all get there sooner if we make it a team effort—which is why we’re launching Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities today. Together, we can create a better world, faster.
Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google.org