Google is planning to release its Google Glasses to the mass market later this year. Google hasn't yet talked pricing details, but with the glasses costing $1,500 for those accepted into Google's Explorer program, you can bet that they won't be cheap.
I personally applaud Google for aiming high with Google Glass and really trying to make wearable technology a reality, but for a variety of reasons, many of which I satirically laid out in an article here, I don't think Google Glass has the muster to really become a mainstream success.
Naturally, Google co-founder and Google Glass enthusiast Sergey Brin disagrees.
While speaking at the TED Conference in California earlier today, Brin seemingly tried to set the stage for a world where using Google Glass is as normal as using a smartphone. What's more, Brin went so far as to say that using smartphones is "emasculating."
“When we started Google 15 years ago,” Brin explained, “my vision was that information would come to you as you need it. You wouldn’t have to search query at all.”
Indeed, both Brin and fellow Google co-founder Larry Page have said that their ultimate dream is for Google to deliver search results to users before they even know what they're looking for.
"My vision when we started Google 15 years ago was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all — the information would just come to you as you needed it,” Brin explained. “This is the first form factor that can deliver that vision.”
In any event, Brin said that smartphone users often seclude themselves in their own private virtual worlds.
"Is this the way you’re meant to interact with other people?" Brin asked.
Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? In an intimate moment, he says, “It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?”
I have no idea where Brin is coming from with that statement, and I'd much rather be seen in public swiping away on my smartphone than wearing clunky and futuristic glasses that also require tapping gestures.
Brin's remarks came on the last day people can apply to become a Project Glass "Explorer," getting a prerelease version of the device for $1,500. To apply, would-be Glass owners have to pitch Google on Google+ or Twitter using the hashtag #ifihadglass.
Anyone left out of the pilot program will have a chance to buy Glass later this year when it becomes broadly available, Brin said. The price tag will be below $1,500, he said, though he did not suggest a price target.
I fail to see how wearing computerized glasses is cool or masculine in any way. It's futuristic, sure, but its still more ridiculous than anything. Still, I can't lie; I'm extremely curious to try on Google Glass and see how they work in the real world. That being said, Brin attempting to hock Google Glass by articulating that using a smartphone is emasculating is utterly absurd.#mce_temp_url#
Furthermore, it's hardly a foregone conclusion that folks wearing Google Glass will be more connected and involved with society. Sure, they may not be "hunched over" looking at their smartphones, but for all anyone knows they'll still be reading email and checking sports scores, only with Google Glass they'll give off the impression that they are involved and paying attention.