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If there was an award for ‘the coolest product demo ever’, the guys at Google would be cooing over the trophy right about now. Its Project Glass team put together the most elaborate (and awesome) demo for Google’s futuristic augmented reality glasses for its annual developer conference yesterday. Instead of a “normal” demo, which typically involves someone standing on stage to explain how the product works, its version involved an aeroplane, a few sky divers and some guys on bikes.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin lead the demo at Google I/O, walking onto the stage wearing a pair of the glasses and saying “this can go wrong in about 500 different ways… so tell me now, who wants to see a demo of Glass?”. He then informed the attendees that some of the test units were about a mile overhead, and launched into a live Google+ hangout with the occupants of a plane, asking them to bring them into the auditorium. And because a real time video conversation via a pair of glasses wasn’t enough, they decided to really put Glass to a test — by jumping out of the plane and filming the descent.
After the skydivers had landed safely on the roof of Moscone West, someone grabbed the test unit, scaled down the side of the building and handed the package to some bikers (also wearing Glass), who cycled through the foyer and onto the main stage to deliver the unit to Brin.
I’m not making this up — there is a video:
It’s the first major demo of what Google’s Glass can do — only Google employees have had access to the device, so the rest of the world has had to make do with images they shared on their Google+ pages, or fuss over a video of Google CEO Larry Page taking a picture with Glass at Google Zeitgeist. Shortly after the demo, they announced that a beta version of the specs would be available early next year for attendees of the conference, if they would care to pre-order the device for a cool US$ 1500.
Ever since the concept video was released in April, we’ve been waiting for a chance to see what Glass can really do. But so far, none of the augmented reality features have been demonstrated, just the photo and video capabilities — the project is obviously still in the development stages. We’re still waiting to see someone view their meeting notifications over breakfast.