Yesterday Google introduced the crowd at Google I/O to Google Glass by having people wearing the glasses jumping from a plane, biking across the roof of Moscone Conference, and rappelling down the side of the building. Â Well in the words of S.R. Hadden from the movie Contact:
First rule in spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?
So today we were treated to a second attempt at the stunt. While the crowd in the convention center may have been rolling their eyes at seeing the stunt again, I was in a very different location. By chance I was walking back from a meeting at the StumbleUpon offices when I noticed the same blimp hovering above Moscone. A minute later the sky divers jumped and by the time I made it back to the convention center I watched two people rappel down the side of the building. Here is what the stunt looked like from outside the convention center.
The Blimp over Moscone
Sky Divers on their way down
Sky Divers Approaching the Roof
Getting Ready to Rappel down the Building
Rappelling down the building
It was a lot of fun to watch. Â Also worth mentioning today Google opened up the goodie bag again today and gave everyone a Chromebox.
Google’s developer conference is known as Google I/O and in its 5th year Google uses this event to launch new updates to products such as Android and to introduce new technologies such as Google Glass. Â It has been a couple of years since I was at Google I/O so I was glad to be walking through the doors at Moscone West to see what the 2012 version of Google I/O had to offer.
I was not very impressed with the first half of the keynote. The crowd was very tepid, not a lot of clapping and the speakers on stage seemed to be impacted by the lack of energy. It doesn’t help that Google’s team lacks to bravado of some of Apple’s exec team either. What started off weakly finished on a very strong note.
Vic Gundotra was in the middle of introducing an update to Google+ when Sergey Brin updated the presentation to introduce Google Glass. This wearable computer and the way it was introduced will go down as one of the best product intros. Google Glass allows the person wearing the glasses to broadcast a 1st person experience, and in this case a blimp high above the city set the stage for a live Google Hangout of a sky diving team to broadcast their dive from the blimp to the roof of Moscone. Incredible.
The keynote wrapped up on a high note with Google giving all the conference attendees a free Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus Q and Nexus phone. I left the keynote with a positive vibe after the initial letdown early on.
Google Products for All Attendees
Why does Google Glass matter so much to me? Everything Google announced today aside from Glass was a retread idea. Tablet? Yawn…we have seen a few tablet announcements this year. Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean? Yawn…with the number of Android devices stuck on old operating systems how excited could I be knowing that only a sliver of the Android users will actually get this update. Google+? Yawn for the most part…Events was interesting. Google Glass? Awesome…something innovative and different from all the rigamarole from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. We need to move the needle and even if Google Glass is not it, projects like it are great to see us as a human race trying to solve.
Bullish on Google
I won’t hide the fact that I am an Apple fanboy. I have an iPhone, iPad and numerous other Apple hardware. After today’s sessions, Google continues to be dedicated to Google+, continues its transformation from a software company to a software AND hardware company, while continuing to innovate on new projects.
When I first started usingÂ Google+Â two nights ago it was a little bit of a ghost town. Â With the exception of my friends who work at Google and a few members of the Silicon Valley elite, I could not find anyone else to friend. Â Last night Google turned on invites which turned the ghost town into a little bit more engaging community. Â The challenge is to find people you are already friends with on other social networks and add them to your Google+ circle. Â Thank goodness for Yahoo (I canâ€™t believe I just said that).
Over a year ago, Yahoo enabled importing contacts from Facebook into Yahoo Mail, and with Google+ you can import your Yahoo contacts and find your friends on Google+. Â The steps to enable this are to log into Yahoo Mail, assuming you have an account.
Today at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, Eric Staats, one of AOL’s Principal Software Engineers announced AOL’s support for Open Social Containers during the “Meet the Containers” session today. From Eric’s post over on the OpenSocial API Blog:
Over the next few months, we will implement the Gadget specification on myAOL, and eventually we will support OpenSocial across our products and platforms.By using this single widget application framework, AOL will take a significant step toward becoming a more open service, making it easier for developers to leverage our APIs to enhance AOL products and services with creative new applications, and ultimately leading to a better experience for millions of users.
Supporting these gadgets across myAOL and other AOL services it continues AOL’s commitment to giving both developers and our users the best experience across the web.