Google showed the future of technology to a 97-year old woman with a Project Cardboard viewer, which is a DIY virtual reality handset from the search giant. The woman, very excited with Google’s tech, says, “This is old fashioned stuff! Way before your time.”
A trip to the future
The woman puts on the headphones and holds the viewer up to her eyes, and her jaw dropped to see the visuals. Olive goes speechless for a moment when the virtual reality tour comes to an end.
“There’s no way I can understand that,” she said after the pause. “The horse. I was so sure I could touch the horse.”
This was Olive Horrell’s sixth experience with the technology that day, and each time she had the same excitement. A non-profit organization called Wish of a Lifetime, which grants senior citizens’ wishes, organized a special VIP tour of Google’s Mountain View campus for Olive. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is one of the biggest donors of Wish of a Lifetime.
Google gave Olive a ride in one of its self-driving cars. She liked it, but the visit to the Google Doodle department was more impressive for her. There she helped color a custom doodle of her own with a stylus on a touch screen computer. Google took her on a tour of the campus, where she viewed the volleyball court, a mobile pizza oven, and racks of colorful Google bikes. Older Google employees referred to as “Greyglers” joined her for a sit-down lunch at one of 22 on-campus kitchens.
Google – a perfect place to fulfill wishes
Olive took three years to make her wish, and eventually she settled on seeing the future. Olive grew up on a farm in rural Montana where there was no electricity, and she had no idea what a radio was. She made use of a horse and buggy for commuting. When she was 8, she moved to California.
Technology has changed incredibly in her lifetime. The first computer she saw made use of punch cards and was about three feet by three feet. But at Google, which is among the largest and most innovative technology companies in the world, she was talking about “The Cloud” with the engineers there. She was interested in knowing what it is actually and why it’s up there.