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The 10 craziest projects Google has acquired


M1 Manipulator Meka robot

Google has acquired 182 companies to date, a lot of which specialize in some crazy stuff.

With a market cap of roughly $436 billion, Google has dipped its toe in just about everything. From music streaming (via their 2014 acquisition of Songza) to child-friendly apps (via the Launchpad Toys acquisition in February), Google seemingly has it all with no sign of slowing down.

The 10 biggest acquisitions Google has made totaled more than $24 billion, and that's considering most of the financial details behind Google's nearly 200 acquisitions have never been released.

Most of the acquisitions listed here will be under the purview of Alphabet, which will become Google's new holding company. This isn't surprising, since Alphabet is basically designed to oversee Google's more ambitious projects while Google manages the core products.

Here's a list of the 10 craziest companies Google has acquired thus far (hint: get ready for a lot of robots).

Tilt Brush designs a tool that lets you paint three-dimensional images

What they do:Tilt Brush allows you to paint in 3D. You can stick with basic brush strokes or add smoke or light to your images. You can choose from a variety of brush types, from dry ink strokes to strokes that look like leaves. There's even an option to use brushes that animate what you draw. Users can then make an AutoGif to share what they created.

When it was acquired: April 16, 2015

What it integrates with: Tilt Brush integrates with Google Cardboard, which lets you experience virtual reality, so that you can experience the 3D images created using Tilt Brush.


THRIVE Audio creates headphones that provide "3D audio"

What they do: THRIVE is a company that was born out of Trinity College Dublin's engineering department that creates headphones that let you experience 3D audio. It's hard to conceptualize 3D audio, but essentially it reacts to a listener's movements in virtual scenario, accounting for height, depth, and distance.

When it was acquired: April 16, 2015 (same day as Tilt Brush)

What it integrates with: Like Tilt Brush, THRIVE integrates with Google Cardboard so that you can experience surround sound in virtual reality.

It's been reported Google bought this artificial intelligence startup DeepMind Technologies for more than $400 million

What they do: Founded in 2010, DeepMind Technologies was acquired by Google in 2014 to create Google DeepMind. DeepMind specializes in artificial intelligence, creating algorithms capable of learning games like Space Invader. In this case, the only instructions the algorithm was given was to maximize the score. In 30 minutes, it was the best Space Invader player in the world.

Created by Demis Hassabis, a child chess prodigy turned artificial intelligence researcher, DeepMind's artificial intelligence technology is capable of mining social networks for patterns at record speeds and learning to play 49 Atari 2600 video games when given only minimal background information.

DeepMind has not released any products. But with Elon Musk and Peter Theil as investors, Google DeepMind is worth keeping an eye on.

When it was acquired: October 23, 2014. The same time Google acquired another artificial intelligence company, Vision Factory.

What it integrates with: Nothing. It was turned into its own thing. DeepMind Technologies was acquired to become Google DeepMind. Vision Factory integrates with Google DeepMind as well.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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