Google's Schmidt talks up Facebook Home, Android and Glass .. but not drones

Google’s Eric Schmidt has been speaking out on a variety of topics recently, applauding Facebook’s new smartphone software, extolling the wonders of wearable computers like Google’s Glass – and calling for regulation of unmanned drones.

As Silicon Beat’s Levi Sumagaysay reported Monday, the Google chairman recently told a British newspaper that civilian drone technology should be regulated.  It wouldn’t do for someone to send a surveillance drone flying over their neighbor’s back yard, would it?

That’s prompted a few bloggers to suggest Schmidt is being a little inconsistent, given some privacy advocates’ concerns about Glass and other Google products.  But on Tuesday, Schmidt was back to praising other recent  technological innovations.

Despite speculation that Google might resent Facebook for building its new Home interface on top of Google’s Android operating system, Schmidt told an interviewer at a tech conference that he supports Facebook’s efforts.

“I think it’s a tremendous endorsement of the (Android) platform,” he added during an onstage talk at an All Things D conference. “This is what open source is all about.”

In other comments at the conference, Schmidt disclosed that the rate of new Android devices being sold or activated has risen to 1.5 million a day. And he promised that some “phenomenal” new products are coming from Google’s Motorola hardware division.

He also confirmed that Google is starting to ship the first models of Glass to outside developers and people who won a recent contest for the right to an early adopter of the gadget.

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (350 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.