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Can a Tech Company Build a City? Ask Google

Sidewalk Toronto will become a 1,200-acre testing ground for new tech products

Posted on Feb 8 2018 by Anonymous

By SARAH BARNS

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation startup owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a partnership with the City of Toronto to develop a new waterfront precinct. Time to ask Google: Can you build a city?

The Quayside precinct, dubbed “Sidewalk Toronto,” is to become a 500-hectare (1,236-acre) sandpit for testing a suite of new tech products. The aim is to radically reimagine the way a city is made. (Further reading: Creative City, Smart City … Whose City Is It?.)


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Image Credits:

  1. Blair Stirrett via Flickr

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Google Expands Solar Project Nationwide

The company says it can now offer predictions on photovoltaic potential for 60 million rooftops across the country

Posted on Apr 14 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two years after launching Project Sunroof, Google says its expanded database now covers every state in the country with information on the solar power potential of 60 million buildings.


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Image Credits:

  1. Google

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Google Launches a Solar Estimator

Project Sunroof estimates the amount of available rooftop space for solar panels, and how much energy they would generate

Posted on Aug 20 2015 by Scott Gibson

A pilot program just launched by Google gives homeowners in a few U.S. cities an estimate of how of their rooftops could be used for photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. panels, and how much money they could save annually by installing them.

For now, Project Sunroof is available only for some addresses in and around three cities: San Francisco, Calif.; Fresno, Calif.; and Boston, Massachusetts. Plug in an address, and (if the address is listed in the database) up pops an analysis based on weather patterns and 3D modeling of the roof and nearby trees.


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Web Giants Look to Home Services Market

Routine jobs like installing new faucets and television sets are part of a $400 billion industry that's just waiting to be developed

Posted on Apr 17 2015 by Scott Gibson

Installing new faucets, fixing balky electrical switches, and a variety of other routine household chores are part of a giant home services market that could be worth more than $400 billion and an area of growing interest for big internet powers like Google and Amazon.

That's the gist of an article published on April 12, 2015 in The New York Times.


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Image Credits:

  1. Thinkstock

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Google and SunPower Create a $250 Million Solar Fund

The money will be used to pay for rooftop PV systems that are leased to homeowners

Posted on Apr 29 2014 by Scott Gibson

Google Inc. and SunPower Corp. are creating a $250 million fund to finance rooftop solar systems that will be leased to homeowners.

Google will contribute as much as $100 million and SunPower will chip in as much as $150 million, the companies announced. SolarPower, which already has lease arrangements with about 20,000 homeowners, said the program should be able to finance thousands of new rooftop systems.


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Image Credits:

  1. Google

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Energy Monitoring Tools from Google and Microsoft

Two of technology’s biggest players aim to give residential utility customers more control over their energy use

Posted on Jun 26 2009 by Richard Defendorf

Google and Microsoft each have developed online tools designed to help consumers both analyze and trim their residential energy consumption.


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Image Credits:

  1. Microsoft

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More Power-Monitoring to the People!

Posted on Apr 1 2009 by Richard Defendorf

Major companies are backing strategies that will allow consumers easy access to detailed information about their energy use

To the extent that telecommunications gadgets and related software applications have become ubiquitous, it seems inevitable that consumers will soon be able to monitor and control energy use in the home by punching a few keys on a cellphone or computer keyboard.

The hardware and software to do the monitoring already exist. What’s needed is a way to deliver the information, in an easily accessible and useful form, to consumers.


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Image Credits:

  1. Adafruit Industries

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