Ever since Sergey Brin declared that real men don't use smartphones, but don dorky high-tech specs instead, it was clear Google was about to make a Glass of itself.
Last month Google released beta Google Glass units to a select group of tech journalists and other influential digerati. (No, I was not among them. That's what I get for mooning the Google Street View van every time it passes by.)
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Not at all surprisingly, Robert Scoble was among the first out of the gate to sing the praises of the new $1,500 digital dingus, declaring "I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It's that significant."
He also posted a photo of his larger-than-life self wearing Google Glass in the shower. Just writing that sentence made me throw up a little.
Memo to Robert Scoble: You are not Channing Tatum. Nobody, probably including members of your immediate family, wants to see you naked. Knock it off.
Profiles in dorkiness
Scoble isn't the only extreme geek thrilled by Google's latest experiment in ubertech. There's a Tumblr photo blog called White Men Wearing Google Glass that's worth a look, if you've already had your breakfast. It appears wispy facial hair is a key requirement, as well as staying as far away from sunlight as possible. My favorite pic is of big-time VC guys Marc Andreessen, Bill Maris, and John Doerr getting their geek on.
Memo to Andreessen: If someone ever decides to do a reboot of "Coneheads," you're a lock for the role of Beldar.
Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley -- an anonymously penned, scathingly funny, most definitely NSFW blog -- has a word for these guys: Glassholes. Or as he puts it, "embarrassing overcompensated retards who need something to flaunt while their Tesla is charging."
Cracks in the surface
But the sheer dork appeal of Google Glass could doom it to the abandoned gadget shed of history alongside the Segway and Bluetooth earbuds, warns Wired's Marcus Wohlsen:
Google Glass, like the Segway, is what happens when Silicon Valley spends too much time talking to itself. Maybe that's even overstating the case: The rhetoric around Google Glass is what happens when important tech people spend a little too much time congratulating each other....
But making money on consumer technology requires that consumers embrace that technology. If Google Glass makes you look as cool as the guys in that Tumblr, that embrace is about as likely to happen as you hugging a Segway. Or Robert Scoble in the shower.
Not everyone is quite so enthralled as Scoble, Andreessen, and friends. The Atlantic Wire's Rebecca Greenfield summarizes the shortcomings early adopters have reported, such as short battery life, awkward fit, and lack of security. The early models have already been hacked.