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Google Glass eyewear will go mainstream, Eric Schmidt predicts

April 16, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • Google Glass has already become an everyday part of life on Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus, Eric Schmidt, the company's executive chairman, said Tuesday. Above, Schmidt at a conference last month in New Delhi.
Google Glass has already become an everyday part of life on Google's… (Prashanth Vishwanathan…)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eric Schmidt was not sporting a pair of Google glasses on Tuesday. And he definitely didn't wear them on his recent trip to North Korea either.

"I didn't want to freak them out," Schmidt said. "They have a lot of guns."

But Google's executive chairman predicted that people wearing Google Glass will become a common sight after the pricey digital eyewear is introduced to the public. The wearable technology has already become an everyday part of life on Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus, Schmidt said during an onstage interview at D: Dive into Mobile in New York.

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As for the social norms of this new wave of technology, Schmidt says society will have to sort those out.

"Our job is to put the platforms out there," Schmidt said.

Computers and technology will become increasingly connected to our bodies, he said.

"I used to say you’d have 10 IP addresses on your body and it looks like that's going to happen," Schmidt said.

He seemed amused by the early protests over privacy concerns.

"I always love people who ban things they've never even seen," he said.

As for something Schmidt has definitely seen, Facebook Home, the new Facebook software built on Android that draws mobile phone users’ attention away from Google’s own apps: "I think it's fantastic," Schmidt said. "I love it."

Schmidt said Android is now seeing 1.5 million Android activations a day and predicted Android would surpass 1 billion activations near the end of the year.

"Android is the primary vehicle of smartphones," he said.

Which made it a good target for Facebook, which on Tuesday released its mobile software to the rest of the world, looking to gain ground with its international users.

"We've been trying to get that content out in front of people first for a long time," Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, said in an interview, also at D: Dive into Mobile.

Asked whether Google would remove Facebook Home from the Google Play store if it gets too popular, Schmidt responded: "The answer is no. We would not."


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