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Google Co-Founder Says Smartphones Are ''Emasculating''

By - Source: CNET | B 41 comments

Google Glass requires less rubbing, Sergey Brin suggests.

On Wednesday during the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, sporting the Google Glass headset, told a captive audience that he's still bothered by the use of smartphones, that they are somehow "emasculating". Users are standing around rubbing a featureless piece of glass, and apparently that's not very masculine.

Brin acknowledged that Google Glass also requires a little rubbing, but the current hardware has fewer features than most phones, thus less "rubbing" required. Google Glass also has the upper hand because there will always be a camera ready to snap a picture by a mere voice command – rubbing is not required.

The point he was seemingly trying to make is that the ideal search technology would surface information before the user even asks for it. He's been working on that problem for the last 15 years, and Google Glass is the first form factor that can truly deliver on that vision. He's also spent the last two years fine-tuning the actual physical design, describing the original vision as a "cell phone strapped to your head".

The Google Glass camera has been the source of concern for privacy groups for some time. During CES 2013, Vuzix even relayed a similar concern it was facing regarding its competing product, the Smart Glass M100. Like Google Glass, it features a camera that allows users to quietly take pictures without the typical obvious motions used with smartphones.

According to the Vuzix rep, there are social aspects to consider when launching "smart glasses" such as secretly recording video, walking in public areas using the device, actually driving a car with the headset in place and so on. Reception for the Smart Glass M100 has been outstanding, the rep said, but the company needs to do more research and come up with a suitable marketing strategy.

Brin recently told CNN that Google Glass will have an automatic picture-taking mode, allowing the user to snap pictures at preset intervals like every five seconds. Later a Google representative said that not every Google Glass unit will automatically record an image at preset intervals, as the first wave of Google Glass units will not ship with the auto-photo function.

Still, how would you like to look at a person what has a wearable camera pointing in your face? Creepy, right? "Basically everyone with Google Glass will have a Closed Camera Television on their head, (CCTV) and have the ability to broadcast their 'vision' to the world," one consumer questions on Google's product forums. "What if someone does not feel comfortable being broadcasted nationally?"

Brin's TED Conference presentation arrives as Google wraps up its application submittal window for an "Explorer" edition of Google Glass. This pilot program will be the last chance non-developers will be able to get their hands on the specs until they supposedly go on sale for under $1500 USD by the end of the year.

 

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    WhyFi , February 28, 2013 1:06 PM
    A) How can he say that smart phones are emasculating with that crap hanging off his face?

    B) When did TED become a marketing platform?
  • 21 Hide
    freggo , February 28, 2013 1:08 PM
    As much as I like Google, but does he really think these glasses look 'macho' ?
    Seriously...
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    WhyFi , February 28, 2013 1:06 PM
    A) How can he say that smart phones are emasculating with that crap hanging off his face?

    B) When did TED become a marketing platform?
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    freggo , February 28, 2013 1:08 PM
    As much as I like Google, but does he really think these glasses look 'macho' ?
    Seriously...
  • 4 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , February 28, 2013 1:11 PM
    He cannot really get around the fact that Glass is geeky. But then I'm geeky so I would get one if it was not for the fact that I wear specs and do not like contacts. Somehow I feel that this may well turn into a major fad that could go the way of the moon bag once it loses any fashion appeal. At some point at least you will get tech that can convert any existing set of specs or shades into a device with similar function. That will be maturity.
  • -3 Hide
    soundping , February 28, 2013 1:12 PM
    Emasculating like R2-D2 crapping on your face?
  • 3 Hide
    ajrm , February 28, 2013 1:26 PM
    Imagine what Batman could do with this.. like in "Dark Knight" using all of Gotham's phones to track Joker.. This will take it to a whole new level..
  • 7 Hide
    bllue , February 28, 2013 1:30 PM
    Not as emasculating as those google glasses
  • 8 Hide
    cats_Paw , February 28, 2013 1:34 PM
    And why would i care what he thinks? :D .

    I dont even have a phone! (yep, in these crazy times, no phone :D ).
  • 6 Hide
    acadia11 , February 28, 2013 1:45 PM
    Man who would have thunk the world would infact end up , just like Serial Experiments Lain.
  • 5 Hide
    acadia11 , February 28, 2013 1:53 PM
    The Borg would be proud!
  • -3 Hide
    p05esto , February 28, 2013 1:58 PM
    What a total failure these will be, lol. Oh my.
  • 0 Hide
    stormblade42 , February 28, 2013 2:01 PM
    Quote:
    ajrmImagine what Batman could do with this.. like in "Dark Knight" using all of Gotham's phones to track Joker.. This will take it to a whole new level..



    This. You don't think the gov't or people within it with their Patriot Act style BS wouldn't somehow use this with facial recognition and other software to keep tabs on everybody. It's like '1984' waiting to happen. They already have backdoors into Facebook so why not whatever Google has lined up? I'm not saying all gov't is untrustworthy but you know there are individuals or groups with their own agenda...
  • 4 Hide
    blazorthon , February 28, 2013 2:38 PM
    acadia11The Borg would be proud!


    Pride is futile.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 28, 2013 2:40 PM
    stormblade42This. You don't think the gov't or people within it with their Patriot Act style BS wouldn't somehow use this with facial recognition and other software to keep tabs on everybody. It's like '1984' waiting to happen. They already have backdoors into Facebook so why not whatever Google has lined up? I'm not saying all gov't is untrustworthy but you know there are individuals or groups with their own agenda...


    i can see it used for some things but if you think the government can anylize all peices of data even on facebook alone then i have a bridge to sell you. unless facial recognition software gets a hti of a person of interest in your pictures then you are probably fine
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2013 2:59 PM
    Quick! Somebody! Develop and market an app/device/laser ray/foam gun that automatically detects and neutralizes thse things. Include in it a wire that runs through the ear into the appropriate cerebral lobe so that it can be "thought" into action or be enabled. Hire a DJ to publicize it. Write a rap song about it. Give it a designer look for the Jen/Jessica/Kim/Beyonce wannabes. Make an ersatz military/soldier/SEAL/Special Ops/cop/NRA version for those high-T wannabes. Instnt billionaire!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 28, 2013 2:59 PM
    This is a segway to a computer integrated into a contact lens. Coming soon in this century.
  • 2 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , February 28, 2013 3:43 PM
    Quit buying pink cases for your phone, Sergey.
  • 2 Hide
    Hanover_Fisk , February 28, 2013 3:53 PM
    Then add the ability to input with a hammer or pound with fist so we can look studly using our smart phones!
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , February 28, 2013 4:03 PM
    stormblade42This. You don't think the gov't or people within it with their Patriot Act style BS wouldn't somehow use this with facial recognition and other software to keep tabs on everybody. It's like '1984' waiting to happen. They already have backdoors into Facebook so why not whatever Google has lined up? I'm not saying all gov't is untrustworthy but you know there are individuals or groups with their own agenda...


    They wouldn't be able to do this covertly, there would be a lot of processing and transmitting involved. It would also be very impractical, a lot of effort to be able to find a few individuals faster.

    No, the next front in the invasion of privacy/ubiquitous surveillance will be children. There will be a few high profile cases of sexual abuse of children, and the government will mandate all places where children might spend their time to be monitored 24/7, and this will ultimately include private homes with children. Most parents will line up behind it, those that resist will have their kids taken away and before you know it, every home will be wired for sight and sound to the local police station.
  • 2 Hide
    cRACKmONKEY421 , February 28, 2013 4:13 PM
    "Emasculating smartphones" says the guy wearing the nerdiest piece of eye-wear ever available LOL! You're saying a dainty set of half-glasses that set you back 15 hundred are really not at all emasculating? I'd feel like the worlds biggest sissy-nerd being an early adopter for this thing. It screams "punch me in the face bullies!" It's worse than a Casio calculator watch. This is like Casio calling the regular calculator emasculating. What a joke.

    They should have worked on design more and made it something that doesn't look so dorky. I don't think it will catch on nearly as well as it could with a better look. They should have learned from Apple by now that having a product that looks cool is very important to the general public.
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , February 28, 2013 4:22 PM
    cRACKmONKEY421I'd feel like the worlds biggest sissy-nerd being an early adopter for this thing. It screams "punch me in the face bullies!"


    Ah, I wish. It's so hard to provoke people to try to punch you in the face these days, what with lawsuits and stand your ground laws.

    And besides, who cares what some non-augmented peasant thinks? Just stare through them, say "Ok Glass, draw a penis over his face" and laugh.
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