Google plans to solve the problems of this world, one algorithm at a time.

The technology giant — which has doubled its market capitalisation to around $500bn since restructuring to become Alphabet in 2015 — is far more than the internet search engine by which it made its name. It is a massive digital services behemoth, stretching its code-embedded tentacles into new areas such as hardware, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

This autumn, Google indicated its ambitions for the future as it launched a series of new products, from the Pixel smartphone and Chromecast media player built to rival the iPhone and Apple TV, to the Daydream View virtual reality headset and Google Home connected speaker, which enables users to control smart home appliances.

The company has made no secret of its plans to tap into the hardware market — in April, it appointed former Motorola president Rick Osterloh to head up a dedicated hardware division to unify its disparate hardware projects.