Google’s Brin Touting Glasses Says Smartphone Emasculate

Google’s Brin Touting Glasses Says Smartphone Emasculate

Sergey Brin has an unconventional view of the handheld devices that help generate billions of dollars in ad revenue for the company he co-founded.

Hunching over a smartphone while walking about is “emasculating,” Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Brin said yesterday at the Technology, Entertainment, Design conference in Long Beach, California, according to a blog post on the event’s website.

Brin was touting the benefits of Google Glass, his company’s wearable mobile-computing devices that resemble spectacles. His point: standing upright and summoning information to one’s eyes is a better use of the body than “rubbing a featureless piece of glass.”

“Is this the way you’re meant to interact with other people?” he said at the conference. “It’s kind of emasculating.”

Whatever their effect on the attributes usually associated with men, smartphones and other mobile devices are key to Google’s future as more people log onto the Internet when they’re away from desktop computers. Handheld computers are also generally a lot more affordable than Google Glass, which goes for about $1,500. What’s more, smartphones are the main conduit for Google’s Android mobile operating system, the software used in 70 percent of smartphones, according to IDC.

“People carry a supercomputer in their pocket all the time,” Google Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Larry Page said on an earnings call with analysts last month. “In fact, we feel naked without our smartphone.”

‘Geek Glasses’

Brin’s comments were swiftly derided across the Web, with some pundits scoffing at the suggestion that Google Glass is superior to smartphones.

“We’re taking advice on cool from this guy? Seriously?” John Gruber wrote on his widely read blog, daringfireball.net. While folks indeed should pay more attention to one another, “strapping a computer display to your face is not the answer.”

Clara Jefferey, co-editor of Mother Jones, questioned the trendiness of Google Glass, referencing a John Hughes teen film from the 1980s.

Wrote Jefferey in a tweet: “Smart phones are emasculating but wearing geek glasses straight from ‘Sixteen Candles’ isn’t?”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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