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Sergey Brin: Oh, sorry, I just got this message from a Nigerian prince. He needs help getting 10 million dollars. I like to pay attention to these because that's how we originally funded the company, and it's gone pretty well.
Though in all seriousness, this position that you just saw me in, looking down at my phone, that's one of the reasons behind this project, Project Glass. Because we ultimately questioned whether this is the ultimate future of how you want to connect to other people in your life, how you want to connect to information. Should it be by just walking around looking down? But that was the vision behind Glass, and that's why we've created this form factor. Okay. And I don't want to go through all the things it does and whatnot, but I want to tell you a little bit more about the motivation behind what led to it. In addition to potentially socially isolating yourself when you're out and about looking at your phone, it's kind of, is this what you're meant to do with your body? You're standing around there and you're just rubbing this featureless piece of glass. You're just kind of moving around.
So when we developed Glass, we thought really about, can we make something that frees your hands? You saw all of the things people are doing in the video back there. They were all wearing Glass, and that's how we got that footage.
And also you want something that frees your eyes. That's why we put the display up high, out of your line of sight, so it wouldn't be where you're looking and it wouldn't be where you're making eye contact with people.
And also we wanted to free up the ears, so the sound actually goes through, conducts straight to the bones in your cranium, which is a little bit freaky at first, but you get used to it. And ironically, if you want to hear it better, you actually just cover your ear, which is kind of surprising, but that's how it works.
My vision when we started Google 15 years ago was that eventually you wouldn't have to have a search query at all. You'd just have information come to you as you needed it. And this is now, 15 years later, sort of the first form factor that I think can deliver that vision when you're out and about on the street talking to people and so forth.
This project has lasted now, been just over two years. We've learned an amazing amount. It's been really important to make it comfortable. So our first prototypes we built were huge. It was like cell phones strapped to your head. It was very heavy, pretty uncomfortable. We had to keep it secret from our industrial designer until she actually accepted the job, and then she almost ran away screaming. But we've come a long way.
And the other really unexpected surprise was the camera. Our original prototypes didn't have cameras at all, but it's been really magical to be able to capture moments spent with my family, my kids. I just never would have dug out a camera or a phone or something else to take that moment.
And lastly I've realized, in experimenting with this device, that I also kind of have a nervous tic. The cell phone is -- yeah, you have to look down on it and all that, but it's also kind of a nervous habit. Like if I smoked, I'd probably just smoke instead. I would just light up a cigarette. It would look cooler. You know, I'd be like -- But in this case, you know, I whip this out and I sit there and look as if I have something very important to do or attend to. But it really opened my eyes to how much of my life I spent just secluding away, be it email or social posts or whatnot, even though it wasn't really -- there's nothing really that important or that pressing. And with this, I know I will get certain messages if I really need them, but I don't have to be checking them all the time.
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It's not a demo, more of a philosophical argument: Why did Sergey Brin and his team at Google want to build an eye-mounted camera/computer, codenamed Glass? Onstage at TED2013, Brin calls for a new way of seeing our relationship with our mobile computers -- not hunched over a screen but meeting the world heads-up.
Sergey Brin is half of the team that founded Google. Now he's leading the development of special projects like Google Glass. Full bio »