Google’s Brin calls smartphones ’emasculating’ ..

We all know folks who hate the incessant use of smartphones. But who would expect to hear them dissed by a co-founder of Google, which makes the most popular smartphone operating system in the world?

In the latest effort to promote Glass, the visor-like computing and communications device, Sergey Brin took the stage at the annual TED conference in Long Beach Wednesday and declared it a much preferable alternative to smartphones – which he described as “emasculating.”

Uh, say what now?

“You’re actually socially isolating yourself with your phone,” Brin told the audience, according to an account in Wired. “I feel like it’s kind of emasculating…. You’re standing there just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.”

According to other accounts, Brin went on to explain that Glass was designed to help people enjoy the benefits of Internet technology without the distraction or intrusiveness of a smartphone or other hardware.

Google has been running a sophisticated marketing campaign for Glass, and Brin has clearly thrown himself into the cause.

Most famously, there were the sky-divers who jumped out of a blimp over San Francisco last year – while using Glass to send video images of the stunt. More recently, we’ve seen a couple of highly polished promotional videos, a campaign encouraging people to Tweet what they would do with the device, and selective demos for a few media outlets.

We’ve even seen Glass show up at a New York fashion show and a Beverly Hills Oscar party. But much of the marketing seems focused on the tech community. Google wants  to encourage software developers to build more apps that will work with Glass before it goes on sale to consumers later this year. But it also may realize that techies are likely to be the first to embrace the idea of wearing the slightly odd-looking gadget in everyday situations.

(Mercury News photo of Brin and California Gov. Jerry Brown by Gary Reyes)





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