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Google CEO defends "crazy" projects like Google Glass

Google Glass

By Shona Ghosh

Posted on 19 Apr 2013 at 10:29

CEO Larry Page said Google will keep making "crazy" projects such as its newly released Glass headsets, self-driving cars and high-speed broadband.

Although Google makes the bulk of its profit from online advertising, Page said that the firm would continue investing in "speculative projects", noting that the firm was just getting started.

"I get chills when I use a product that is the future, and that happens when I use Glass," he said. "Some day, we will all be amazed that computing involved fishing around in pockets and purses."

Although Page gave no specific details of forthcoming products, his comments hinted strongly at the firm’s deep interest in wearable tech and getting users "the right information at the right time".

I get chills when I use a product that is the future, and that happens when I use Glass

He highlighted the firm’s personal assistant technology, Google Now, as a particular achievement in the field and suggested the firm would work on more solutions involving voice commands.

"Voice commands are going to be increasingly important, it's just much less hassle to talk than type," he said.

He also suggested that Google’s competitors had become too comfortable with "incremental" innovation in a possible dig at Apple, though he didn't name any particular rival.

Page pointed at some of Google’s more established projects, such as YouTube, Chrome and Android, as "big bets" that paid off. He also described Gmail as a "big leap" from other email services, offering more storage than anyone else at the time.

"Take Gmail, when we released that, we were a search company. It was a leap for us to put out an e-mail product let alone one that gave users 100 times as much storage as anyone else," he said. "It was the same with Android, and that’s why we’re investing in what appears to be speculative projects to you today such as self-driving cars."

"We found that with ambitious goals and a committed team you can make progress pretty quickly," he added. "The best people often want to work on the biggest bets and there’s not much competition, because no one else is crazy enough to try."

Page also dropped further hints about new phones from Google’s Motorola Mobility hardware unit, promising devices that would be faster and "more intuitive".

Google results

Page was speaking to analysts after Google released its latest round of financial results.

Google’s core ad business remains its strongest asset, with the firm reporting an increase in profits to $3.35 billion in the first three months of the year, up from $2.89 billion last year.

Revenues came in at $3.35 billion, up from $2.89 billion last year and 93% of which came from advertising.

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User comments

'Glass' isn't "crazy"

'Glass' has the potential to re-write our use of gadgets as much as, or probably more than, the Smartphone.

Glass (or something very similar) potentially presents us with live data\information, visual and audio, that are\is integrated into whatever we are doing. When it works, it'll make the Smartphone look like the clumsy kludge it is.

Google's problem is not that the concept is in any way flawed. It isn't.
The 'problem' lies in making it all fit together smoothly, and at an affordable price.
By pioneering 'Glass' Google lays itself open to the sort of disaster that hit MS with Smartphones: being very early to market, but unable properly to exploit the potential of its technology.
In Smartphones part of Apple's genius was to sew-up the data plans and the content deals that made the iPhone desirable AND usable, where Windows Mobile was not.
Google risks the same problem, so maybe it IS "crazy" after all....

By wittgenfrog on 19 Apr 2013

True, you're missing one thing though..

You look like a total idiot, similar to people wearing Bluetooth earpieces but even more so. Fun tech though

By TimoGunt on 19 Apr 2013

@wittenfrog

Apple's other big advance was the capacitive touch screen.

Microsoft's big mistake was not doing anything between 2003 and 2010.
They missed the shift from a business device to an entertainment device, and left UI development entirely up to HTC and Opera.

By tirons1 on 20 Apr 2013

google glass is just a way for google to put faces to names.
Its going to further enhance their plan to 'know everything'.
This is no paranoia, but thats the primary use.
Put faces to names to enhance the custom/ targeted ads.

By r1sh12 on 20 Apr 2013

iPhone will be phased out

Google Glass and iWatch together will replace the iPhone.They will talk to each other. The iWatch will have the "electronics" and "Glass" will be the "screen" Its the natural progression,you will never be "off the phone"...always on 24/7. Hell!

fotograffiti

By fotograffiti on 20 Apr 2013

iPhone will be phased out

Google Glass and iWatch together will replace the iPhone.They will talk to each other. The iWatch will have the "electronics" and "Glass" will be the "screen" Its the natural progression,you will never be "off the phone"...always on 24/7. Hell!

fotograffiti

By fotograffiti on 20 Apr 2013

@TimoGunt

People with blue tooth earpieces don't look any more weird than people with phones stuck to their ears as if by superglue.

By curiousclive on 20 Apr 2013

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