There’s a lot of talk these days about Google Glass, Google’s new futuristic wearable computer that functions like a set of cyborg glasses, overlaying a HUD of Google products and search services over your life.
It certainly sounds impressive, and early reviews from the usual techno-nerds are positive. But what would Steve Jobs have thought of Google Glass?
He would have thought you were a dork for wearing one, and you needed to get laid.
In a funny (but sort of cruel) anecdote shared by Jeff Soto, who was once an Audio Test Engineer at Apple, Steve Jobs was once pitched an idea for a wearable computing solution like Google Glass at an Apple Town Hall Meeting. His response? Outright ridicule.
As soon as I saw the video for Google’s Project Glass I instantly recalled a funny story from my time at Apple. I was once at a Town Hall meeting in Cupertino where Steve Jobs commented on this type of wearable computing. An Apple employee in the audience asked Steve a question to the extent of: “How can we reach out to our leadership if we have a really good idea”. Steve immediately put him on the spot and made him pitch the idea in front of everyone there. An opportunity to pitch Steve Jobs. What?
The employee proceeded to pitch an idea about glasses you can wear that display various types of information. A heads up display a’la terminator cyborg vision if you will. He continued to explain how he wished he had a way to see projected information while he perhaps went for a run outside. Keep in mind this is happening in a room filled with a lot of people.
Steve immediately shot his idea down and told the guy that he would probably trip and fall if that were the case. Steve also suggested he should get a girlfriend so he has someone to keep him company while running.
To be fair, Steve Jobs often laughed at ideas that he later embraced. Remember when Steve laughed at the idea of an iPod playing video? Still, that’s a pretty blistering dismissal of a concept Google is putting a lot of resources and PR behind, don’t you think?