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Google Glass not headliner at Google I/O, but it gets new apps

May 16, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • Google Glass team members wear Google Glass at a booth at Google's annual developers conference in San Francisco.
Google Glass team members wear Google Glass at a booth at Google's… (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press )

SAN FRANCISCO -- The must-have accessory for this year's Google annual developers conference was definitely its futuristic glasses.

Software developers who paid $1,500 a pair for Google Glass sported them proudly all over Moscone Center and during Wednesday's 3 1/2- hour keynote presentation.

But Google Glass got barely a mention from top brass, a big departure from last year when presenters wore them on stage and Google co-founder Sergey Brin pulled off a spectacular stunt by skydiving into the conference while wearing the computerized glasses.

Even Google Chief Executive Larry Page only talked about Glass briefly this year during his Google I/O keynote address.

His first comments were in response to a question from blogger Robert Scoble, who demonstrated the full monty potential of the wearable computing device by wearing Glass in the shower, underscoring how Glass has already found itself the punch line of a number of jokes, including a "Saturday Night Live" skit. That kind of publicity has not helped Google as it navigates the privacy and security concerns that accompany a new, very different form of computing.

"I really didn’t appreciate the shower picture," Page told Scoble.

Page did take the opportunity to talk up the G-rated uses of Glass. As a dad, he uses Glass to take pictures of his kids.

"Our main goal is to get happy users using Glass," he said.

At Google I/O on Thursday, Google took another small step in that direction by announcing that Glass will soon have seven new apps, including Evernote, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

The technology giant is moving very slowly in opening up Glass to software developers. Developers have limited access to user data and cannot show ads. Google services such as search and maps are already available on Glass, as well as two apps: Path and the New York Times.

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