With all of the talk around wearable computing lately, most notably Google’s Project Glass, many might wonder how Steve Jobs would have felt about Google Glass, and the potential for Apple to enter that market with a competing product. Jeff Soto recalls a moment from his time as an Audio Test Engineer at Apple that could provide some food for thought on what Steve might think of Google Glass and similar projects.
As soon as I saw the video for Google’s Project Glass I instantly recalled a funny story from my time at Apple. I was once at a Town Hall meeting in Cupertino where Steve Jobs commented on this type of wearable computing. An Apple employee in the audience asked Steve a question to the extent of: “How can we reach out to our leadership if we have a really good idea”. Steve immediately put him on the spot and made him pitch the idea in front of everyone there. An opportunity to pitch Steve Jobs. What?
The employee proceeded to pitch an idea about glasses you can wear that display various types of information. A heads up display a’la terminator cyborg vision if you will. He continued to explain how he wished he had a way to see projected information while he perhaps went for a run outside. Keep in mind this is happening in a room filled with a lot of people.
Steve immediately shot his idea down and told the guy that he would probably trip and fall if that were the case. Steve also suggested he should get a girlfriend so he has someone to keep him company while running. I can not watch this Project Glass video without recalling this moment. So if you’re wondering what Steve would think about Project Glass, that’s pretty much it.
Update: I had a few people ask me when this happened. If I remember correctly this was during the summer of 2007.
The referenced YouTube video is as follows: