Innovative Offerings? Intense Opportunities? It’s… Ohmygod? What “Google I/O,” the name of Google’s annual developers conference, stands for is a mystery (although an interesting game on the Google I/O event site offers a hint). The phrases above are my best guess. Why?
During this year’s conference in San Francisco, athletes wearing prototype Google Glass glasses collaborated on a demonstration of skydiving and bike stunts using the Google+ video chat tool Hangout. Mashable’s Christina Warren bore witness to the unique product demo:
As promised, users get to “see” exactly what the wearer of the objects can see — in this case a breathtaking glimpse of the San Francisco skyline.
If the aerial jump wasn’t enough, [Sergey] Brin sent Project Glass equipped BMX riders to pick up the jumpers, showcasing a first-person view of scaling walls and doing flips off the side of the building.
You can read Warren’s full report at Mashable. In the meantime, here’s video from the live demo, from CNET.
While the stunt seemed aimed at demonstrating some of Glass’ features in an exciting manner, it was also an excellent (and extreme) in-the-wild test. If the Google Glass user interface allows people to dive out of blimps and cycle on buildings uninterrupted, Google Glass owners should be able to cross the street or walk through a crowded hallway wearing this technology without it interfering with their safety or composure (though you do still have to pay attention to where you’re going). I wonder if Google intended to send this message to conference attendees.
I also wonder how developers at Google performed in-the-wild testing to prepare for this event. They couldn’t take for granted that Google Glass technology would hold up at such high altitudes and speeds; the technology had to pass stacks of trials first, as all high-quality products do.
Innovative products require rigorous and unique test cycles, and if they are meant to be used outside of the lab that’s where they should be tested.