Obviously Google Glass is Sergey Brin's baby, or one of them anyway. When you feel passionately about something, you will say, or do anything to support your ideas. Naturally, this is the attitude Brin has adopted with Project Glass. He's willing to say some pretty outrageous things, even if they don't always make sense.
During a TED talk in California, today, Brin did it again. He had quite a bit to say about touchscreens, which he is clearly not particularly fond of. Perhaps it's just a gimmick though, I'm sure he uses a touchscreen device as a daily driver.
"I feel it's kind of emasculating. You're just rubbing this featureless piece of glass."
There are quite a few folks that have taken offense to Brin's comment. Obvious sexism aside, I think what he actually means is that for such an advanced form of technology, our interaction with it is exceedingly limited.
No doubt, Brin is referring to the use of touchscreen devices as "featureless," because Google Glass takes the concept of smart technology to new heights. You put on the glasses, and you're suddenly able to interact with the technology on a more personal level. The real problem with Glass however is that it just hasn't reached a certain level of usability that makes it worthwhile. I would even argue that the price itself is atrocious, and I'm sure I'm not alone there.
"The cell phone is a nervous habit. I whip this out and look as if I have something important to do. [Glass] takes that away."
The problem with his comparison is that you don't just own a smartphone to look as if you have "something important to do." You own a cell phone because you actually do have lots of pertinent things to do, and it allows you to get them done from anywhere.
For example, I write articles and create content right on my smartphone. Can Google Glass do something like that in an efficient manner? The answer is not at all, at least not yet anyway.
Brin seems to think that Google Glass is much better because it's just there, and it just works. I think he simply forgets that smartphones fit that role well, and have been doing it for years. When you get a new email and want to respond right away, your smartphone is there. When you get a Facebook notification, and you'd like to see what's going on, your smartphone is right there. When you have a question, and you have an inkling to Google up the answer, your smartphone is right there.
What Brin fails to recognize, is that if Glass is going to succeed it needs to do all of those things, but in a more modern way. If I'm going to wear a pair of $1,500 augmented reality glasses on my face, they better be able to do a hell of a lot. Unfortunately, you still need a smartphone to use the Glass platform, which is something Brin clearly overlooked during his recent Ted talk.
I think Brin might be a little nearsighted when it comes to his position on using a "featureless piece of glass."