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Startup launched by Google to revamp city life

party city

Startup launched by Google to revamp city life

Google has unveiled a new branch of its ever-expanding enterprise that it hopes will improve the day-to-day experiences of people living in urban environments.

The ubiquitous web firm has announced the launch of Sidewalk Labs, an independent company that Google’s cofounder and CEO, Larry Page, has said will focus on developing new technology to tackle city issues like transportation, energy usage and cost of living.

While it’s likely that the company’s developments will be of interest to the owners and employees of city centre-based businesses, Page is yet to clarify exactly how Sidewalk Labs will bring about improvements.

Based in New York, the startup will be led by Dan Doctoroff, who is the city’s former Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and the current president and CEO of global financial giant Bloomberg.

In the press release announcing the creation, Google said that while some apps offer newsfeeds about traffic conditions and property prices, other core areas of interest to city dwellers – such as making urban transport more efficient or slashing the cost of living – remain largely unaddressed by technology.

In a Google+ post about the new company, Page drew a comparison between Sidewalk Labs and its experimental research arm Google X, as well as Calico – a firm it established with the aim of helping people to live longer.

Google said its new urban-focused venture is a ‘blue-sky’ project, which means it operates with a more philanthropic view in mind. Google already takes in £74,511 a minute, according to data from 2014.

Richard Bell

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