Google X is the secret laboratory where the company puts designers to work on some of their most outlandish and ambitious ideas; its output so far has included Project Glass, self-driving cars, and a 16,000-core neural network that works like a virtual brain. While the lab's output is sporadic, it works on over 100 projects at a time before allowing one to see the light of day — and it looks like another will soon be ready for primetime.

Speaking at SXSW and reported on by GigaOm, Google X's 'Captain of Moonshots' Astro Teller detailed the principles behind the lab's operation, and revealed that we should be seeing an announcement of a new discovery "in the coming month." However, Teller played down a New York Times report that suggested Google X is working on a space elevator; since the lab was also responsible for the blue dot that shows Google Maps users when they are indoors, the new unveiling could be a little less exciting.