Google CEO Larry Page is not a normal person in normal circumstances.
- He is brilliant.
- He is surrounded by brilliant people.
- He is surrounded by brilliant people who adore him and grant him vast powers over their lives and careers.
- He is surrounded by technologists that love and understand computers, sometimes more than they understand humans.
- He is a billionaire many times over who can afford to have almost whatever he wants.
Sometimes this gap between how Larry Page views the world and how the rest of the world views the world comes into focus as something deeper and wider – a chasm.
Yesterday, at Google’s shareholder meeting, was one of those times.
What happened was, Page started talking about Google Glass.
He said that concerns over their creepiness-factor are overblown.
Page told shareholders yesterday that everyone is going to just get used to Google Glass and other pieces of “wearable tech.”
He said the privacy-invasion factor is “it is not that big a concern” for Google Glass.
He said that already, “there are cameras everywhere.”
“You don’t collapse in terror that someone might be using Glass in the bathroom just the same as you don’t collapse in terror when someone comes in with a smartphone that might take a picture.”
What Page doesn’t understand is that normal, non-tech industry people are very sceptical of Google Glass is that they believe people who wear them look funny, anti-social, and slightly creepy.
Among many reasons, they believe this because, with Google Glass, people are able to record photos and videos fairly surreptiously.
With one Google Glass app, all you have to do is wink to take a photo.
That is unseemly.
New York Times tech writer Nick Bilton went to a big Google conference a couple weeks ago and said it was very strange walking around seeing people with Google Glass on stare into space.
Then something weirder happened…he went to the bathroom.
As I approached the line to the restroom, I took a deep sigh, thinking that I might find some respite from the hundreds of cameras strapped to people’s heads at the conference.
Yet when it was finally my turn to approach the rows of white urinals, my world came screeching to a halt. There they were, a handful of people wearing Google Glass, now standing next to me at their own urinals, peering their head from side to side, blinking or winking, as they relieved themselves.
Uncomfortable and strange, right?
Not to Larry Page.
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