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Playground Global: Startup Incubator Combined with a Venture Fund


andy rubin

After leaving Google in 2014, Android co-founder Andy Rubin started Playground Global, a company that steered clear of any concrete description ever since.

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At the 2015 Code Mobile, Rubin said the mysterious new startup will “amplify ideas” – a frustratingly vague information which didn’t clear the air any more. But after prolonged information dripping, we finally get a more straightforward answer about Playground’s ambitious goals.

A startup incubator combined with a venture fund and a software company – that’s pretty much what Playground is. With more than $300 million to invest, Rubin’s company has already signed up a dozen companies on its books. But what exactly is Playground looking for?

According to its CEO, it wants to give tech companies equal opportunity to build the Next Big Thing by providing them with ready-made hardware and software – including some artificial intelligence technology.

Some of the industry’s biggest names – Google, Facebook, and Microsoft – have started invested heavily in their AI team, looking to improve existing services and develop new products. This is how neural networks have started becoming more prevalent, spreading pretty much everywhere in the tech world.

We have been given some sneak peeks into what these companies have done with deep learning, so how can a startup compete with that sort of research? The answer is Playground and its offering of pre-made AI tools.

Remember the chaos that was the smartphone market before Android launched? Users had few functioning options besides the iPhone, but Android enabled smartphone manufacturers to develop new phones without having to worry about the operating system.

That’s exactly what Playground wants to do – to help take some of the pressure off startups when it comes to creating new tools. Tech companies will be able to pick and choose from Rubin’s own hardware and build it into their own products.

Playground’s headquarters are ready to host about 30 startups that need tools and equipment for new projects; Rubin explained they can provide “thermoplastic and multimaterial printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, metal sintering 3D printers, spectrum analyzers, network test equipment, RF test chambers, and optic labs,” to name a few.

But Playground is also ready to build its own products, such as a dashboard camera that will be given away to customers in exchange for the data they collect. This is only the tip of the iceberg – the company plans to connect all the world’s gadgets through one new infrastructure.

Does Rubin’s plan sound fantastical and out of sci-fi movies? Maybe, but he has the Android revolution on his resume, so he has earned the right to feel confident about shaping a new future.
Image Source: CNET


About David Mayor

david@thenextdigit.com'
Writer and editor of The Next Digit Media, he takes care of iOS, Apple, Mac and other gadgets. He worked at Apple Inc, before joining to TND Media. He was graduated in Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication Degree from Cambridge University. All posts by David

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