Liz Gannes

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Google I/O Attendees Get First Crack at Buying Google Glass — But Not Till Next Year

Google’s Sergey Brin stole the show at Google I/O today with a ridiculous scheme to get a Google Glass prototype delivered to him on stage.

AllThingsD.com

An airship hovering about Moscone Center in San Francisco dropped off the prototype via an elaborate pass-off between extreme athletes, who jumped out of the airship in wingsuits, parachuted onto the roof, biked to the edge, rappelled down the side of the building, and hopped on another bike. And this was all filmed from their perspectives with Google Glasses, streamed to a Google+ Hangout.

Brin also revealed that U.S.-based developers attending I/O will be able to preorder Google Glass for $1,500, shipping early next year. He warned that this “Explorer Edition” would not be a polished consumer product.

“You have to want to be on the bleeding edge,” Brin said.

Google Glass creator Babak Parviz and industrial designer Isabelle Olsson described the justification for the project, which they said began two-and-a-half years ago, and showed off a ton of footage from Google Glass team members playing with babies, running races and even sitting in the dentist’s chair.

The devices include memory, a processor, a touchpad on the side, a button for taking pictures, microphones, camera, speaker and sensors like an accelerometer, compass and gyroscope.

The idea is to make using technology more natural, said Olsson. “If this is not ridiculously light, both physically and visually, it doesn’t belong on your face,” she added.

Google Glass enables people to communicate through images and get rapid access to information, Parviz said. It’s a first-person point of view, through your eyes, as you see the world. It doesn’t require disengaging from the physical world.

Though it’s harder to show off the information retrieval aspect of Google Glass, Parviz talked of its potential. “We would like it to be so fast that you feel you know it,” Parviz said. It’s a long-term goal to have information that close. “That day may not be today. That day may not be tomorrow.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus