Last week, Google went literal with its product “launch,” staging an elaborate skydiving stunt in promotion of the company’s new sci-fi inspired eyewear: Google Glass.
The stunt, held over San Francisco on June 27 during Google’s I/O conference, involved 25 cameras, 11 Glass prototypes, a helicopter and a blimp – the first ever blimp OK’d by the FAA as a jump point for skydivers wearing wingsuits.
“This can go wrong in 500 different ways,” Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin told an audience of developers waiting for the Google Glass demo.
The biggest challenge? Getting WiFi a mile up in the sky, where skydivers wearing the eyewear would simulcast themselves hurtling through the air into a Google Hangout. According to TechCrunch, engineers proposed hooking up a 4G hotspot to a wok (an asian frying pan), among several other solutions to retrieve and deliver data mid-fall. Ultimately, Google used something else, though the company hasn’t yet made its means of midair connectivity public.
499 other things could have gone wrong, including mitigating the sun’s glare on the Glass cameras, landing on the roof of the convention center and then bike backflipping and rappelling the Glasses onto the stage alongside Mr. Brin.
When all was said and done, the stunt went off without a hitch. If you attended the conference, you could have ordered an “Explorer” edition of Google Glass for $1,500. Google Glasses for the general public are expected to be released some time in 2013.