California-based technology giant Google has started construction on an ambitious project designed to help stimulate innovation in Silicon Valley. The firm has announced that it will spend $120 million in order to build a new facility that will feature buildings that are screened against external radio waves and will host experiments including the use of rare gases and innovative optical coatings.
Although Google has refused to confirm some of the internet rumours surrounding the new facility, it has been speculated that the firm is modifying a separate lab as part of its advanced 'Project X' scheme.
The firm has, however, revealed that it intends to create a 'Google Experience Center', which will detail the company's landmark achievements to prospective clients. Impressively, it is set to cater for as many as 900 VIPs. Google has already started demonstrating some innovative ideas for its Android@Home' brand, such as allowing its mobile phone users to control things like music systems and other domestic appliances.
Writing to officials in Mountain View, California, Project Architect Andrew Burnett wrote: "The Experience Center would not typically be open to the public - consisting of invited groups, and guests whose interests will be as vast as Google's range of products, and often confidential.
"Therefore, the Experience Center must also operate somewhat like a museum, exhibit, or mercantile space allowing flexibility in the exhibits so that as Google's products and needs change, the space can adapt."
Apple, meanwhile, is also in the process of building its own facility that is set to serve a similar function. The project was actually one of the biggest passions of Steve Jobs, the former Apple Chief Executive, during his last months in the job.
IBM and HP, however, already boast similarly impressive facilities, meaning that innovation in the Valley is likely to continue over the coming years, with US firms seeking to stay one step ahead of their international rivals.