An extremely elaborate prank. That is what I've determined Google Glass is as the company begins to ship these loony glasses over in the US.
I've come to this conclusion based on a number of factors. The first clue is the recent all-over-the-place coverage about how Eric Schmidt, who cannot maintain the joke, is cracking under the strain. Unable to keep a straight face, he said during a speech at the end of last week that Google Glass is "the weirdest thing." He also said that people will have to develop new norms, noting certain inappropriate uses. You know, like in the bathroom. Then there was some discussion about having to bob your head around like an idiot to get the glasses to do certain things.
That's when I finally confirmed that this is an elaborate ruse designed to humiliate the public while Sergey Brin, in what must be an attempt to top the most elaborate hoax in the history of mankind – Piltdown Man – laughs at us all.
Imagine a roomful of people with these glasses on, some reading Yelp reviews to themselves, some making movies of themselves, and some making movies of the people making movies themselves. Others are taking pictures while still others are trying to navigate the menu by jerking their heads around, winking, blinking, and rolling their eyes in various patterns. Does anyone but me see this as overt insanity? It's like a scene that should have been in Woody Allen's Sleeper.
This begins to take on epic gag proportions – something Brin's life has been leading to. And he is the obvious perpetrator of this, let there be no doubt.
While Brin is not the only prankster in this crowd, he's their leader. I recall, some years back, Eric Schmidt giving a speech to some college kids. It was shown on C-Span or one of the university networks. As Schmidt ploughed through the PowerPoints, he complained that he had to be careful because the practical jokers in the company executive suite were always getting a hold of his presentations and jiggering them up with embarrassing slides to humiliate him.
Then there was a picture floating around the Internet of Brin in a dress pulling some gag. I'm sure there was a big laugh at someone's expense.
These glasses are the topper. Everyone who thinks this tech bauble is great gets to humiliate himself by wearing these glasses and looking like an escapee from a Borg "sig" at the last Star Trek convention.
I first became suspicious about the whole ploy after two ludicrous chance encounters with Brin. The first was last year when Scoble caught Brin with the glasses on. Scoble made a huge public fuss about it. His reward was an early device and an apparent wink. The second was the outrageous meeting on a New York subway with Noah Zerkin, who happens to be a big proponent of wearable computing devices. Coincidence? I think not!
Exactly why Brin, who has two 767s in the Google hangars and is worth billions of dollars, is riding the subway was never questioned. The media just gushed over this supposed happenstance as if it was an everyday thing. It was such an obvious publicity stunt.
Brin is clearly bored and this is his idea of an elaborate joke. I think Eric Schmidt sees that it's completely out of control and he wants no part of it, hence why he is slowly backing away from the whole thing.
At some point there will be a big reveal, though it may be a while away if Brin has his way. The Piltdown Man hoax ran for 40 years. Let's hope this Google Glass insanity ends sooner than that.
Happy head-bobbing, suckers!
For more on the device, check out our look at the darker side of Google Glass.