As if self-driving cars, balloon-carried internet, or the eradication of death weren't ambitious enough projects, Google CEO Larry Page has apparently been working behind the scenes to set up even bolder tasks for his company. The Information reports that Page started up a Google 2.0 project inside the company a year ago to look at the big challenges facing humanity and the ways Google can overcome them. Among the grand-scale plans discussed were Page's desire to build a more efficient airport as well as a model city. To progress these ideas to fruition, the Google chief has also apparently proposed a second research and development lab, called Google Y, to focus on even longer-term programs that the current Google X, which looks to support future technology and is headed up by his close ally Sergey Brin.
None of these ambitions seem to be taking commercial considerations into account, at least not at their outset. More realistic and near-term goals have also been under discussion during Google 2.0 meetings, including Page's determination that location tracking should be precise "down to the inches." That would allow people to identify those around them discreetly, as well as providing information to store owners that can help customize what you're presented with as you walk through a shop. Also, just as Apple is doing with Touch ID on the iPhone, Page wants to see some form of biometric security — potentially provided by the sensors embedded in smartwatches — replacing the traditional (and traditionally insecure) written password. It's hardly a surprise to see Google thinking about the future, but the ambition illustrated in this report is strikingly grand and all-encompassing, even for a company as vast as the one Larry Page controls.