Google Invites Users To Ride Shotgun In Mobile Research Labs, To Help Shape The Future Of Products

The amount of research that goes on inside of Google's walls (and out) at any given time is nothing short of amazing. You can be sure much of that research revolves around the mobile market, as its Android operating system didn't reach super stardom through sheer luck. With its latest move, however, Google is really taking its mobile research to heart. In fact, Google employees will soon be boarding a company van and taking a six-week trip across the United States in an attempt to lure folks in to provide their valuable insight and feedback on Google products.

On the side of this van is a simple message: "Shape the future of Google." During its travel, this van will pass through seven states, hitting high-traffic areas to get as much feedback as possible. 

Google Van
Credit: Associated Press      

Opting into this research study is not going to be for the feint of heart; a session could last anywhere between 15 and 90 minutes. Fortunately, Google will reward anyone who takes part with gift cards for Google's services, as well as a Google t-shirt. Google expects that about 500 people total will be requested to partake in this research, so if you have your chance, you're going to be part of a small group.

Perhaps more intriguing than a t-shirt is the fact that those who provide their feedback could be treated to examples of what Google has en route for Android, or the company's other products. Perhaps there will be a glimpse at Android N?

What could be most interesting about all of this is that Google still finds value in this old-school way of conducting research. With its online presence, it'd take little effort on the company's part to do this kind of research on the Web. But there's probably something to be said about the usefulness of being able to see how people react to certain things rather than try to interpret what they're thinking through text. Either way, this could prove to be an interesting experience for some 500 people. And who doesn't want a cool Google t-shirt?