Alphabet has just invented its quantum technical group, launching it as an independent company – TechCrunch

Quantum technology may finally have its moment.

Note that earlier this month, one of the few “pure gaming” quantum technology companies in the world, Rigetti Computing, became public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC. It only narrowly failed to become the first publicly traded company to explicitly focus on commercializing quantum technology when another suit, IonQ, went public through a SPAC merger. in October. Meanwhile, another rival in space, D-Wave, says it is also planning to release it now for SPAC.

While moving to the public markets there is one indicator that quantum technology is advancing beyond the realm of the theoretical, even stronger signal that it is preparing for its close links to Alphabet, which said this morning that it is coming out of its six-year term. -old quantum technical group, Sandbox AQinto an independent company.

Jack Hidary, who was previously the director of AI and Quantum at Sandbox and is a longtime X-award board member, will continue to lead the 55-person, Mountain View, California, suit that describes itself as an enterprise SaaS company that develops commercial video. products for telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, government, computer security and other sectors.

Sandbox also assembled an enviable cast of advisors, including former Alphabet Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt; Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan Chase executive who helped create credit default swaps; and John Seely Brown, the former chief scientist of Xerox PARC.

Sandbox in particular is spreading with an unknown amount of “nine-digit” funding. Among its new outside investors is Breyer Capital, whose founder, Jim Breyer, has also joined Sandbox’s board of directors. Section 32, Guggenheim Investments, TIME Investments and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates are also in the investment mix.

Apparently, growing market demand partly explains Alphabet’s decision to pop out Sandbox. According to Gartner, by next year, 20% of global organizations are expected to budget for quantum computing projects, up from less than 1% in 2018.

Among the customers already paying Sandbox for its computing power are Vodafone Business, SoftBank Mobile and the Mount Sinai Health System.

But judging by recent talks with Breyer, perhaps an even greater driver of growing interest in quantum technology is the realization that, although true, intolerant quantum computing – that means the ability to use quantum physics to traverse many possibilities and determine a likely outcome – could be five or more years away, another related technology, such as so-called quantum-sensing technologies – is fast becoming a reality.

Indeed, rather than working on quantum computers, Sandbox is instead focused on how quantum technology intersects with AI, developing applications to enhance cybersecurity platforms, among other things. In the company proper words“[T]Here are many aspects of quantum physics and technology that can be commercialized soon without the need for quantum computers … using today’s high-performance computers. financial services and healthcare to aerospace and manufacturing to communications and materials science. ”

The statements echo comments made by Breyer when we spoke a a few weeks agowhen he told us that there are “huge national security opportunities for the quantum companies … But what I’m really excited about today from an investment standpoint is not necessarily the big supercapital intensive quantum computers … but areas like quantum sensing.”

Think of a very high-powered 1,000x light microscope that can be applied to medicine, Breyer proposed as an explanation. “There are quantum technologies today that are being piloted at some of our major hospitals in the United States that I think will revolutionize areas such as cardiology. [and] drug discovery. “

Indeed, Breyer suggested, while quantum computing platforms will eventually play a role in helping catch diseases faster, improve security systems, and protect all kinds of data – they could also be used to attack some of those systems, in part because of larger organizations, including governments and corporations, are no longer waiting for the arrival of these massive quantum computers – or shouldn’t be, anyway. “We have to embrace it,” he said.

“There are quantum technologies now where – they’re not at the boom from where quantum computing will be in four or five years – but it makes a very big difference,” he said. The team at Sandbox, he suggested at the time, is among those leading the charge.

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