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Brin said smartphones are "emasculating"

Smartphones are so yesterday, according to Google.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who appeared at the TED stage yesterday, explained that smartphones don't allow their users to interact enough with the outside world, and even called them "emasculating." People walk around with their faces buried in their smartphone's screen and swipe at a piece of glass.

"Is this the way you're meant to interact with other people?" asked Brin. "It's kind of emasculating. Is this what you're meant to do with your body?

"When we started Google 15 years ago, my vision was that information would come to you as you need it. You wouldn't have to search query at all."


According to Brin, Google Glass -- a hands-free, voice-activated headset with augmented reality features -- is that vision materialized. Brin showed Google Glass off at TED, saying it's the way people were meant to interact with one another while still using digital technology.

Google Glass is being offered to early adopters right now for a steep price of $1,500.

Source: TED Blog



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RE: Google Glass.....
By Nortel on 2/28/2013 12:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
News flash, employee of company says its products are great.

Right off the bat, you look like an idiot with the glasses on. If I saw somebody looking at me with the glasses on I couldn't help but think they were filming me.

The major flaw however lies in how you communicate with the glasses. Siri/voice control via smartphone usage is next to zero percent, nobody uses Siri when it is far less embarrassing to just press the screen a few times and achieve the same effect. Imagine wearing these glasses and having to start a dialogue with yourself to check the weather, send a message, or do anything. When we think of earpiece bluetooth headsets, douchebags immediately come to mind and that was just to talk on the phone. Now we have a technology that puts us back into the stone age where you have to voice communicate with your sunglasses to check the weather.


RE: Google Glass.....
By Daemia on 2/28/2013 12:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's what the guy who counted stones with his fingers said to the guy who invented the abacus.


RE: Google Glass.....
By txDrum on 2/28/2013 2:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's what the guy who counted stones with his fingers said to the guy who invented the abacus.


Actually, I doubt either of them spoke English. :)

He does have a point though. (the guy I quoted)


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 4:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... The horse and buggy fans didnt like cars either. They are too loud, and where will you get gas from? No-one lives near a gas station and cars are too loud.

Narrow, just narrow.


RE: Google Glass.....
By Bal on 2/28/2013 1:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Think in broader terms. They are working on the display and information presentation.

Interaction is only voice because no one has had a strong reason to work on tech that follows pupil focus. Cameras are just getting small enough with resolution to allow the Google glass. A few more years and they will have them small enough to read the eye behind the glass.

Once that happens, you will interact without voice. Every time you read an old scifi book, someone imagined what we have created and implemented today.

An "Eye" interface has been used in scifi books and games for HUD's for a long time. The tech will get there, and it will not be long.


RE: Google Glass.....
By maven81 on 2/28/2013 1:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An "Eye" interface has been used in scifi books and games for HUD's for a long time.


It has been used in products too. Like my old Canon ES-6000 video camera from 1996, that used eye position for focus control.


RE: Google Glass.....
By UpSpin on 2/28/2013 1:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with you on voice control. Also on a PC voice control is much slower than just using the mouse or keyboard. But I think they use voice because it's the easiest method for them to realize Google Glass right now and it will always be a fundamental part. (while driving, voice control is much easier than to use a keyboard, while doing other stuff with your hands, voice control is the only option to input text)
Once the product has reached a usable state, with voice control, they'll surely integrate other methods, like gesture control (you get a keyboard/buttons projected to the glass), mind control (the thing is already on your head, shouldn't be too hard to read brainwaves and at least control most basic options) and eye control.

Once transparent OLEDs reached a usable state they'll also ditch the projection method and use such a display instead, making the whole device much smaller and better looking.

It's just a prototype right now, which Google publicly develops and tests and they're proud to share their results with us and they let us buy those prototypes and give feedback to contribute to the way we'll interact with machines in the future.


RE: Google Glass.....
By spread on 3/1/2013 1:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Once transparent OLEDs reached a usable state they'll also ditch the projection method and use such a display instead, making the whole device much smaller and better looking.


And how can the eye focus on a device 12mm away from the surface of the eye? Can your eyes focus that close? Obviously there are some serious engineering feats to be accomplished before OLEDs are usable if ever.


RE: Google Glass.....
By 3DoubleD on 2/28/2013 2:18:23 PM , Rating: 3
You are right, it is a flaw. I never use voice command feature on my phone because it just sounds silly. Maybe if I really wanted to do something while I was cycling, but that is a far outlier case.

Voice activated commands wont' always be so primitive though. I've seen technology that can detect your voice commands without a microphone... that's right... it doesn't listen to you. Instead, it detects the electrical pulses that your brain sends to your body in order to command it to speak. So, in essence, you could train such a device (and your mind), to activate "voice" commands without even speaking... more along the lines of "mind" commands.

And this technology is far from invasive. It is simply composed of ultra-thin silicon pads with stretchable interconnects on a polymer substrate, which you place on the back of your neck. In plain English, it looks and feels like a temporary tattoo, moves and bends with your skin, and is waterproof.

When I watch the presentation of this technology I was simply amazed. The graduate students were playing simple 2D video games purely by voice command. They also were able to use hand reflexes to fly a remote control helicopter with the controls simply coming from their nervous system electrical impluses in their arm.

http://rogers.matse.illinois.edu/multimedia.php

So while shouting voice commands at your phone sounds incredibly stupid today, don't forget that in 50 years we'll all be just as overwhelmed by the changes in technology as our grandparents are today.


RE: Google Glass.....
By spread on 3/1/2013 1:20:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never use voice command feature on my phone because it just sounds silly.


It's actually quite useful when you don't have the time or the ability to insert the information. Google Now is pretty much magic.


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 4
Your narrow minded view on tech underscores why you are an iPhone fan. You have no vision or insight into technical matters. I personally think of the possibilities of this and future iterations.


RE: Google Glass.....
By nafhan on 2/28/2013 2:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's absolutely it. This is about possibilities.

For goodness sake, you have to write an essay to even have a chance at paying $1500 for one! It's not a consumer product, right now.


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 5:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
"That's absolutely it. This is about possibilities."

Exactly... I love the idea of recording a movie on demand without having to aim a phone. It just records exactly what you see. The applications are limitless... And the amatuer porn industry just got alot better ;)


RE: Google Glass.....
By inighthawki on 3/1/2013 3:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone here is trying to say that these do not have potential. They do, a ton. This very well may be the foundation of future technology. What most people here seem to be trying to convey, though, is that *current* technology severely limits the usefulness of the devices for what a typical consumer would want. Very few people are going to pay a premium for a device with limited capabilities that requires speaking voice commands to control functionality. That doesn't even count the number of people who won't wear it because it "looks dumb."


RE: Google Glass.....
By Tony Swash on 2/28/2013 6:48:03 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps the reason Sergey Brin is trash talking smartphones is because from a business point of view Android, and hence it's entire smart phone strategy, has been such a spectacular failure for Google. It's mobile income per user is still tiny compared to per desktop user and most of that income comes from iOS. Google has spent billions to be the free R&D department for Samsung. That won't last.

quote:
Your narrow minded view on tech underscores why you are an iPhone fan. You have no vision or insight into technical matters.

That's a bit rich coming from the guy who said of the iPad back in May 2010: "Once the Apple fanboy rush to buy thing wears off and people actually start using them, then realize its not that great of a thing, sales will dwindle."

Total iPad sales to date 120 million plus. Projected iPad sales for the coming year: 100 million.


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 6:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Perhaps the reason Sergey Brin is trash talking smartphones is because from a business point of view Android, and hence it's entire smart phone strategy, has been such a spectacular failure for Google"

ROFLMAO!!!

That is hilarious. You really do live in an Apple-centric dream don't you? LOL. Usually your ill thought through one sided Apple bias is tiring, but this comment is truly hilarious. Thank you for that. Priceless.


RE: Google Glass.....
By TakinYourPoints on 2/28/2013 7:48:00 PM , Rating: 3
If we're looking at reality then Samsung and Microsoft have both made way more from Android than Google has (Samsung from hardware and MS from licensing). Google continues to make way more money mining data and serving ads on iOS than they have from Android. Why else would their own iOS apps be superior to their Android counterparts? Gotta go where the money is. It also explains why they have no interest in serving WP8. :/

Tony is a mega-fanboy but unfortunately hard numbers and reality don't lie. It's the product of Google giving away a mobile OS, they aren't really supposed to make money on it. The unexpected outcome, so far at least, is that ad revenue and data mining from their own platform hasn't been number one because users on the whole don't use it as a smartphone as much.

On the plus side, Android remains a secondary source of mobile income for them, and more money is better than if they were just serving ads and apps on a single platform, right? :)

I suppose Google wants to make money from both the hardware and the software this time with Glass, same with some of the new ChromeOS machines. Its a big departure from their Android strategy.


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 8:04:50 PM , Rating: 3
"Google giving away a mobile OS, they aren't really supposed to make money on it "

Exactly... But money does come. Tony saying its a "spectacular failure" is ridiculous. Its given for free to bolster other revenue and its about branding, marketing, advertising, and dominating industry. Android is a long term strategy that is just in its infancy. They just starting selling high volume in 2011 FFS. It's not just doing well now, its gone from zero to dominating the industry in just a few years, and is still on its way up. The X phone and Android 5 are just a few months out.

But this isnt about Android, that is just Tony and jis need to change the subject to one that doesnt make an Apple competitor look good. As for Google Glass, it looks amazing. The potential is sky high. I cant freegin wait.


RE: Google Glass.....
By TakinYourPoints on 2/28/2013 9:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tony saying its a "spectacular failure" is ridiculous.


Certainly, but hyperbole is a thing on the internet. Something is either the best ever or the worst ever. :)

quote:
As for Google Glass, it looks amazing. The potential is sky high.


Potential is there, I want it to be inconspicuous. People walking around with bluetooth headsets are douchey enough. Ocular implants! :)


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 9:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, I get ya there. Double edge though. I want it to be inconspicuous on me... But then if ytou dont notive it, you neer know when someone might be recording you LOL. ick.

Hell, if nothing else I want it in my car. Like a NAV HUD. Hands free, and never have to look away from the road. If it did zero else, it would be worth it.


RE: Google Glass.....
By spread on 3/1/2013 1:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
Those projections are assuming nothing changes. We all know things change.

They better scale back those projections or disappoint shareholders even more. Apple doesn't have a competitive product to what Google is offering.

Why?

Because Apple doesn't do information. They do hardware. Glass is not much of a hardware product.

Oh but what about Apple Maps? Apple Maps sucks and everyone hates it.


RE: Google Glass.....
By nafhan on 2/28/2013 2:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The major flaw however lies in how you communicate with the glasses.
Nope. The process of two way communication with a device is disruptive, period. Regardless of how you do it.

As I understand, the long term plan for Glass is to have it proactively providing contextually relevant info. They will be actively working to minimize the need to give it any commands at all - voice or otherwise. Basically, if you have to ask for something, that's a problem. It should just know! If you have a modern Android device, think "Google Now", but more advanced.

Also, Glass is not necessarily meant to replace smartphones altogether, rather it's to augment them and minimize their usage in situations where it's advantageous to not be staring in the direction of the ground.


RE: Google Glass.....
By TakinYourPoints on 2/28/2013 7:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
YES, GETS IT

:D


RE: Google Glass.....
By ShieTar on 3/1/2013 8:29:10 AM , Rating: 2
Would that use the same amazing algorithms which are used in youtube? You know, the piece of software that after I finished watching a politicial reportage in german proposes to me that next I should watch a blonde girl embarass herself on some casting-show from the US? When google decides "intelligently", it tends gives me information from which it can make money, not information which I care about. Even worse, it often gives me information which a lot of other people wanted, which is no good, because a lot of other people are increadibly stupid.

I want to have the internet as a tool under my control, not allow it to force-feed me anything that some commercial information provider thinks I should know.


RE: Google Glass.....
By nafhan on 3/1/2013 3:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's why it's important for Google to not be a monopoly. If they start providing worse results than say, Bing, you just stop using their results and search for videos on Bing! Competition is important to a functional internet as we know it.

You can also bet that if Glass takes off others (i.e. Apple, MS, etc.) will jump into the business as well.


RE: Google Glass.....
By GotThumbs on 2/28/2013 3:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Siri/voice control via smartphone usage is next to zero percent


Well, Siri is apples voice system and its more of a novelty for most users since the marketing campaign finished IMO. Google's had that functionality for sometime and my brother and I use the voice to text almost all the time. Only when I'm in public, do I resort to using the keys...as a courtesy to those around me. The Google voice command feature does very well and its very rare that it doesn't get all my words exactly as I said them.

The issue IMO, is that most people are not using the feature on a regular basis. With anything...the more you use it...the easier it becomes.

In time, the Google glasses may have a way to know what your thinking and process that request. Maybe through brainwaves. In time anyway.

Best wishes,


RE: Google Glass.....
By retrospooty on 2/28/2013 3:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
"The Google voice command feature does very well and its very rare that it doesn't get all my words exactly as I said them."

Exactly. Google Now works better than Siri, and faster too. The guy doesn't like to use Siri, so condemns all voice control. From his limited Apple experience, assuming Apple is the best, therefore all voice control sucks. LOL... Newbs.


RE: Google Glass.....
By blue_urban_sky on 2/28/2013 3:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
A few methods spring easily to mind:

Sub- vocalisation (from Enders series of novels).

Easier still would be some form of tracking that can recognise your hand? You could write on your other hand for text, small scroll gestures with a finger? should be doable now.

eye tracking has been mentioned.

brain tracking is in development.

micro movements of the muscles in the brow - (brain fingers?).

There are many options but you are correct that talking to them is possibly the worst of the bunch.


RE: Google Glass.....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/2013 4:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Nortel, why are you even here? Get the hell out of here and go to a site about beating rocks together. If you seriously view Google Glass as such a waste of time, tech blogs aren't for you.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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