I’d say Google succeeded when they hired skydivers, extreme bikers, and a mountain climber to deliver their latest product to the stage. Even more amazing, they followed the progress using Google+ Hangouts. To quote an old TV show title, that’s incredible!
The product was Google Glass, the lightweight, “unobtrusive” pair of glasses that doubles as a webcam and mini-monitor. When you wear them, you can broadcast a first person video of whatever it is you’re doing.
To demo how cool it is, Google put the glasses on several skydivers who, live on Hangout, jumped from a plane and landed on the roof of the convention center. They then handed over the display pair to BMX bikers who leaped over tall buildings with the aid of a ramp, then delivered their charge to a rappeler who took it down the side of the building and turned it over to more bikers who careened through the busy convention floor, down the aisle, and up to the stage.
Very impressive, especially with Google’s main man narrating it all as if it was part of a normal day at work.
The idea behind Google Glass is that it allows you to capture moments at the spur of the moment because with it, you always have a camera strapped to your head. If they make a night vision version, I’ll use it for ghost hunting, until then, I’ll pass. I have enough trouble walking a straight line without trying to film as I go. Oh, and they cost $1,500.
What I would spring for is Google’s Nexus Q. This clever little gizmo is the first social streaming media player. And look, it’s a black ball. Kind of like the Death Star, with a Cylon eyeball light in the middle.
The Q is the link between the Cloud and your media center. Hook it up with a couple of cords, then use your mobile phone or tablet to control the functionality.
Want to watch a movie from your collection? Choose it from your library and Q pulls it from the Cloud and streams it through your TV. Works with music and YouTube videos, too.
It’s the first social streamer because anyone within wireless reach of the Q can add their media to the. . . queue. So, you and I are hanging out. I pick my favorite Shaun Cassidy song to add to the playlist and you counter with some old school Marvin Gaye. Then George comes over and adds his favorite Katy Perry song to the mix and we’ve got a party going on.
The Nexus Q allows you to share pretty much anything from your Cloud on your friend’s system which is massive for broke college students who can’t afford to buy their own entertainment.
Overall, I was highly impressed with everything Google presented at the conference. They’ve managed to find ways to upgrade software and hardware that was already top notch. They really understand how to integrate technology into everyday life and that’s very cool. Now, if only they can get Google+ to work. . . . I’ll have more thoughts on that, tomorrow.