You may think of Google Inc. as a provider of Internet searches and email, but an article in Bloomberg Businessweek gives a glimpse into the type of innovation the company is trying to achieve.


Google X is the company's secretive research laboratory, charged with exploring "million-to-one scientific bets" that require more money and research than they may ever pay back from an return-on-investment standpoint.


Google X is working on such products as a self-driving car and Internet-connected eyeglasses known as Google Glass.


As the Bloomberg article describes, "Google has created a laboratory whose mandate is to come up with technologies that sound more like plot contrivances from Star Trek than products that might satisfy the short-term demands of Google's shareholders."


The research and ideas reflect Google X Director Astro Teller's belief that broadband Internet access for every citizen of the world is as important as making sure every citizen has clean water, according to this accompanying article.


In less positive news for the company, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff members have begun to take a look at antitrust accusations that Google abuses its market dominance in online display advertising, The New York Times reported. The FTC is inquiring whether the company was bundling advertising services in a way that prohibited rivals from competing for business.