Google Glass could end smartphone addiction, according to Sergey Brin
Posted on 28 Feb 2013 at 09:25, by Gareth Halfacree
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that the commercial launch of his company's Glass wearable computing system later this year will put an end to smartphone addiction, following a high-priced beta-test roll-out in the US.
Google's Project Glass takes the form of a headset connected to an Android-powered wearable computer. A small display screen is positioned to the top of the wearer's view, while the system responds to voice and gesture commands - displaying an email, taking a picture or video, or overlaying satellite navigation information to name but a few examples.
The desire, Brin explained during a brief appearance at a TED Conference earlier this week, is to solve a serious problem: smartphone addiction. Ignoring the audience at first in order to reply to an email on his Android-based smartphone, Brin made a clear point: peering down at your phone all the time isn't exactly a welcoming feeling for others in the vicinity. "In addition to potentially socially isolating yourself when you are out and about using your phone, I feel it is kind of emasculating," Brin told the audience.
"That is why we put the [Google Glass] display up high, out of the line of sight. If I wore a ball cap, the display would be on the brim and not where you are looking, and sound goes through bones in the cranium, which is a little freaky at first, but you get used to it."
Brin spoke of a tic he had noticed in himself as a result of reliance on his smartphone. "The cellphone is a nervous habit. If I smoked, I'd probably smoke instead."
When first announced in April 2012, Google promised that its Glass device would cost around the same as a mid- to high-end smartphone, but when it opened pre-orders for interested developers to test the product it did so at a much higher $1,500 - putting it in the same price bracket as a high-end laptop, rather than a smartphone. The company has promised that this cost will drop when the device is released at retail, however, and continues to release teaser videos demonstrating just what is possible with a wearable computer.
While Brin declared that Google Glass should arrive on the market before the end of the year, he has been sadly silent on exactly when that might be - and whether it will be available internationally after the disappointing US-exclusive beta launch.
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