Five amazing Google projects

The search giant has come a long way from serving up cat images. Here's what else Google gets up to in its spare time

100,000 Stars Chrome experiment

Think you're the centre of the universe? Then look away now, because this mind-blowing interactive map of our solar system complete with a mini tour which puts our puny existence into perspective will probably give you a nervous breakdown. At least the soothing music by Mass Effect composer Sam Hulick will calm you down.

Game on

Google recently revealed an alternative reality game called Ingress in which smartphone users explore real locations to discover mysterious sources of energy. Apart from blurring the line between reality and fantasy, it's a very clever way for Google to collect even more precious data, further improving its already frightening tomes of knowledge. The beginnings of Skynet? Let's hope not…

Google X

The Google X lab is a secretive facility shrouded in mystery in which the web giant's wackiest scientists are busy tinkering away on magical tech which any geek would happily smash their touchscreens to glimpse. Reportedly as secretive as the CIA, the Google X Lab is behind the tantalising Google Glass project, begging the question– just what else is it working on? Flamethrower jetpacks? We certainly hope so.

Airwave domination

Google could be looking to increase its global domination by diving into the network provider arena, potentially hailing a new era of simple, cheap and unlimited mobile plans. The Big G has been spotted chatting to US providers DISH, although it's nothing more than harmless flirting at this stage. Here's to hoping it becomes a full-blown love affair in the near future.

Green giant

Google has invested around US$1 billion into renewable energy, thanks to its recent US$75 million investment in an Iowa wind farm. With acres of solar cells and grass-trimming goats to keep things looking nice and neat (yes, really), it's fair to say that Google's not messing around when it comes to hugging trees. Although we still feel like the goats are getting a bum deal, considering they're blocked from using Android.

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