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Google's Schmidt admits talking to Glass is 'weird,' 'inappropriate'

Google executive chairman says new tech should prompt conversation about digital privacy, etiquette

Google's executive chairman acknowledged yesterday that using Glass, the company's computerized eyeglasses, can be at times a bit "weird" and "inappropriate."

Speaking at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Google's Eric Schmidt talked what it's like to wear Glass and the changes it may force on digital etiquette.

He noted, for instance, that Glass can be used to take pictures, shoot video or even display email by simply manipulating the devices via touch, gesture or voice control.

Speaking out loud to Glass, he said, is "the weirdest thing," according to a Reuters report.

Echoing something he said earlier this week, Schmidt noted that because Glass users can surreptitiously take photos, shoot video or find information on someone, there needs to be a renewed conversation about privacy and digital etiquette.

"There are obviously places where Google Glasses are inappropriate," he said in the Reuters report.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, Schmidt acknowledged that the technology has generated a lot of buzz despite the fact that Glass won't be officially released for another year or so.

"We've just started distributing it to the first developers," Schmidt told a BBC reporter. "It's fair to say there will be thousands in use over the months and there will be changes made based on feedback. But it's fair to say it's a year-ish away."

On Thursday, IMS Research reported the overall worldwide smart glass market, including Glass, could hit 9.4 million units shipped by 2016.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is [email protected].

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.

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