Google threw open the doors of its world-famous headquarters in California for the latest Google Product Expert Summit – and Laduma’s Martin Scholes was invited to find out more about how the tech giant operates.

You’re one of the few people in the world to have walked into Google HQ and experienced life inside one of the world’s largest tech companies. What was it like inside?

It was absolutely amazing. All the rumours you’ve heard about Google HQ, how fascinating it is, multiply that by about a factor of four and you’ll probably have a good idea of what an amazing kind of place it is. A lot of what’s there is kept pretty secret, but they have so many facilities for staff, including outdoor swimming pools, gyms and that sort of thing. Some of the experiences are very similar to what we have here, especially in the way Laduma makes sure staff have a good work-life balance!

Was the experience what you expected?

I’ve visited Google events in Dublin and London a couple of times in the past and they do follow a theme. They do like to make sure the staff are well looked after.

Even the pumpkins have to be just right at Google HQ

We arrived on Halloween and one of the first things that caught my eye was the attention to detail in every single area. For example, they had experts carving pumpkins by hand using specialist tools, so they could display the Google logo in the correct font and with exact proportions. It was the same throughout the building, where the brand was shown precisely how it should be.

What was the key purpose of the visit, in terms of how Laduma can benefit?

I was invited to look at Google HQ, see the new products and see how my knowledge of the Google Product Expert System can be developed further. In turn, that helps me to improve Laduma’s knowledge of how best to work with one of the world’s largest tech companies. Google and Laduma have already had working relationships in the past and it will be excellent to be able to build on that and carry it forward.

How can companies like Google work with immersive tech innovators like Laduma?-

Google is naturally a very innovative company and they recognise those similar traits in firms like Laduma, who are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the immersive tech sector. In fact, we have already collaborated with Google on special immersive shoots, using their dedicated VR cameras. While I was there, I saw a fascinating demonstration of Google Tilt Brush, which uses Virtual Reality to create incredible three-dimensional imagery. All of this points to a future where Laduma leads the way in working alongside other innovators to expand on how immersive tech can improve and enrich our lives.

Google Tilt Brush in action

The presentation that stood out for me was based on Artificial Intelligence. It explained how AI could, in the future, have a key role in how search engines operate, as well as applications for AR, VR and even customer service.

Martin’s visit to Google HQ was funded by Google as part of his work as a member of the Google Product Expert System.