Google, announced the release of Google Body, a search service aiming to index the internal and external anatomy of every living creature on the planet. "Google has long been dedicated to making information both useful and universally accessible," notes Google VP of Product Development Eric Hind. "We're happy now to extend search to information about human bodies, mine and yours, inside and out, from the number of follicles on my head to the length of the President's toenails."
The project, known as Google Body, sees the company partnering with public transportation systems, libraries, and motor vehicle departments to place scanning equipment in high-traffic doorways and public thoroughfares. Though details of the agreements are scarce and reportedly subject participating city and state officials to strict non-disclosure terms, Google's announcement confirmed that the project is active in several major U.S. population centers, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City, with agreements with at least 16 other cities in late-stage negotiation. "We've passed proof-of-concept at this point," adds Hind, "and now our focus is scalability and rolling this thing out nationwide."
The service, which has been available for some three months to invitation-only beta testers, enables users to search for aggregate information about the anatomy of user-defined groups. "The service is a boon to the medical research community," says Dr. Jennifer Guns of the Johns Hopkins Clinic for Specialism. "Nothing will replace truly controlled trials, but the ability to get a snapshot of, say, the blood pressure of men between 50 and 65 on New York's Upper East Side, can certainly give companies an idea of where they might best spend their research dollars."