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Sergey Brin’s brilliant strategy to make Google Glass seem normal: Never take them off

Since Google launched its reality-augmenting Project Glass in June, it’s been pretty much impossible find a picture of Google co-founder Sergei Brin in which he’s not wearing the futuristic eye-piece. Last night’s Vanity Fair Oscar party was no exception. Which means 150 of Hollywood’s most famous and beautiful people, from Natalie Portman to JJ Abrams, got to look Brin in the eye as a tiny display glowed just above his right pupil, as if that were something totally normal that they should just get used to.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin gestures after riding in a driverless car with California Gov. Edmund G Brown Jr., left, and state Senator Alex Padilla, second from left, to a bill signing for driverless cars at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.  The legislation will open the way for driverless cars in the state. Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the legislation has a fleet of driverless cars that has logged more than 300,000 miles (482,780 kilometers) of self-driving on California roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
I’m a self-made cyborg whose car drives itself. What have you done lately? (AP/Eric Risberg)

We don’t even know what to call this thing yet—is it a Glass, a pair of Glasses, or a pair of Glass?—and yet he’s already been spotted wearing it, or them, on the New York City subway and at the signing of California’s legislation authorizing (Google’s) driverless cars.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, left, helps to prepare the runway while Diane Von Furstenberg watches before her Spring 2013 show as during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
I’m sure I dropped that virtual document around here somewhere… (AP/Seth Wenig)

He wore them while hanging out with Diane Von Furstenberg, at New York City’s Fashion Week.

Google co-rounder Sergey Brin, left, wears Google Glass glasses at an announcement for the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences at Genentech Hall on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Google is giving more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. The product, dubbed "Google Glass," will be offered to "bold, creative individuals" selected as part of a contest announced Wednesday. Participants must live in the U.S. and submit an application of up to 50 words explaining what they would do with the Google Glass technology. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
No need to introduce yourself; it’s much more efficient for me to scan your LinkedIn profile as you clear your throat. (AP/Jeff Chiu)

And, naturally, he had them on at the announcement of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

Using your own products is standard practice in technology companies that want to remain competitive—it’s called eating your own dog food or, more optimistically, drinking your own champagne. But Brin’s experiment in public, always-on Google Glass(es) takes this to a whole new level. Intentionally or not, Brin is constantly projecting the image of a rich, famous, vigorous alpha-geek whom other might want to imitate—all the way down to never taking off the Google Glass.

This trends is only going to accelerate. Ostensible competitor Mark Zuckerberg has declared that he “can’t wait” to get his hands on Glass. For Google’s sake, let’s hope this goes better than the last fashion trend Brin tried to start—wearing “five-finger” toe shoes to professional events.

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